PLoS / Gustavo R. Canale, Carlos A. Peres, Carlos E. Guidorizzi, Cassiano A. Ferreira Gatto and Maria Cecília M. Kierulff
[New York Times article] The Atlantic Forest in Brazil, which runs along the country’s southeastern shore near Rio de Janeiro, has been fragmented by centuries of human habitation. While the rain forest originally spanned over half a million square miles – an area comparable to the size of South Africa – almost 90 percent of it is now gone. Fields, roads, and cities have taken the place of trees.
Pockets of forest that survived clear-cutting and fires are scattered across the original domain of the forest…
Yet these scattered patches are not providing many important species the protection that they need to thrive… Researchers quantified the presence of 18 types of mammals in a sample of 196 Atlantic Forest patches and found that only about 22 percent of the animals that originally inhabited the areas continue to survive there.