Lowland Forest Loss in Protected Areas of Indonesian Borneo

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Science  13 Feb 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5660, pp. 1000-1003
DOI: 10.1126/science.1091714

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The ecology of Bornean rainforests is driven by El Niño–induced droughts that trigger synchronous fruiting among trees and bursts of faunal reproduction that sustain vertebrate populations. However, many of these species- and carbon-rich ecosystems have been destroyed by logging and conversion, which increasingly threaten protected areas. Our satellite, Geographic Information System, and field-based analyses show that from 1985 to 2001, Kalimantan's protected lowland forests declined by more than 56% (>29,000 square kilometers). Even uninhabited frontier parks are logged to supply international markets. “Protected” forests have become increasingly isolated and deforested and their buffer zones degraded. Preserving the ecological integrity of Kalimantan's rainforests requires immediate transnational management.

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