Why we need mega-reserves in Amazonian forests

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Brazilian Amazonia faces one of the greatest threats and opportunities for tropical biodiversity conservation of our times. I consider several large-scale issues in biodiversity conservation planning (e.g., resource extraction, large areas needed for top predators, species migration, fire, and carbon sequestration) in light of our severely deficient understanding of basinwide patterns of species distribution and little-known Amazonian biota. The long-term persistence of this biota is best served by strictly protected and sustainable development forest reserves that are both embedded in a benign forest matrix and sufficiently large to support a full complement of species and landscape-scale ecological processes. Given rapidly accelerating trends in agricultural frontier expansion into previously unclaimed public lands, protection and controlled development of forests is urgent.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)728-733
Number of pages6
JournalConservation Biology
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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