What's the deforestation rate in the Amazon?

By Rhett A. Butler
Last update: Oct 10, 2020

This page collects deforestation alert data published by Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE) and Imazon, a Brazilian NGO. INPE's system is call DETER, while Imazon’s is called SAD.

As explained here, month-to-month deforestation is highly variable. Short-term, alert-based deforestation detection systems do not penetrate cloud cover, so during the rainy season — from roughly November to April — estimates are notoriously unreliable when compared to the same month a year earlier. Furthermore, most forest clearing in the Amazon occurs when it is dry. So if the dry season is early, deforestation may increase earlier than normal. For these reasons, the most accurate deforestation comparisons are made year-on-year. For Brazil, the deforestation “year” ends July 31: the peak of the dry season when the largest extent of forest is typically visible via satellite.

Short-term data isn’t useless though — it can provide insights on trends, especially over longer periods of time. Generally, comparing 12 consecutive months of alert data will provide a pretty good indication of deforestation relative to other years. Therefore the charts below include monthly data as well as the 12-month moving average (Trailing Twelve Months = "TTM").

Monthly deforestation alert data for the "Legal Amazon" in Brazil according to INPE.

Table: Monthly deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon.

All figures in square kilometers

MonthDETERDETER TTMSADSAD TTM
Apr-2007 64 106
May-2007 1,222 398
Jun-2007 1,398 499
Jul-2007 1,025 961
Aug-2007 191 663
Sep-2007 531 1,112
Oct-2007 443 524
Nov-2007 897 1,067
Dec-2007 848 68
Jan-2008 639 82
Feb-2008 725 63
Mar-2008 146 8,130 114
Apr-2008 1,124 9,190 156 5,707
May-2008 1,096 9,064 294 5,603
Jun-2008 871 8,536 612 5,716
Jul-2008 324 7,835 276 5,031
Aug-2008 757 8,400 102 4,470
Sep-2008 587 8,457 321 3,679
Oct-2008 541 8,554 102 3,257
Nov-2008 355 8,013 61 2,251
Dec-2008 177 7,342 50 2,233
Jan-2009 222 6,925 51 2,202
Feb-2009 143 6,343 62 2,201
Mar-2009 18 6,214 57 2,144
Apr-2009 37 5,127 121 2,109
May-2009 124 4,155 157 1,972
Jun-2009 578 3,862 150 1,510
Jul-2009 836 4,375 532 1,766
Aug-2009 498 4,116 273 1,937
Sep-2009 400 3,929 216 1,832
Oct-2009 176 3,564 194 1,924
Nov-2009 72 3,281 74 1,937
Dec-2009 3,104 16 1,903
Jan-2010 23 2,905 63 1,915
Feb-2010 185 2,947 88 1,941
Mar-2010 52 2,981 76 1,960
Apr-2010 52 2,996 65 1,904
May-2010 110 2,982 96 1,843
Jun-2010 244 2,647 172 1,865
Jul-2010 485 2,296 155 1,488
Aug-2010 265 2,063 210 1,425
Sep-2010 448 2,111 170 1,379
Oct-2010 389 2,324 153 1,338
Nov-2010 121 2,372 65 1,329
Dec-2010 21 2,394 175 1,488
Jan-2011 36 2,407 83 1,508
Feb-2011 1 2,223 63 1,483
Mar-2011 116 2,287 46 1,453
Apr-2011 477 2,712 298 1,686
May-2011 268 2,871 165 1,755
Jun-2011 313 2,940 99 1,682
Jul-2011 225 2,680 93 1,620
Aug-2011 163 2,578 240 1,650
Sep-2011 254 2,384 170 1,650
Oct-2011 386 2,381 102 1,599
Nov-2011 133 2,393 16 1,550
Dec-2011 75 2,446 40 1,415
Jan-2012 22 2,432 33 1,365
Feb-2012 307 2,737 107 1,409
Mar-2012 60 2,681 53 1,416
Apr-2012 233 2,437 71 1,189
May-2012 99 2,268 43 1,067
Jun-2012 108 2,062 35 1,003
Jul-2012 214 2,051 140 1,050
Aug-2012 522 2,410 232 1,042
Sep-2012 283 2,439 431 1,303
Oct-2012 277 2,331 487 1,688
Nov-2012 205 2,403 55 1,727
Dec-2012 131 2,459 82 1,769
Jan-2013 9 2,447 35 1,771
Feb-2013 270 2,410 45 1,709
Mar-2013 28 2,378 80 1,736
Apr-2013 147 2,293 140 1,805
May-2013 465 2,659 84 1,846
Jun-2013 210 2,762 184 1,995
Jul-2013 217 2,766 152 2,007
Aug-2013 289 2,532 185 1,960
Sep-2013 443 2,692 103 1,632
Oct-2013 155 2,569 43 1,188
Nov-2013 108 2,472 37 1,170
Dec-2013 93 2,434 56 1,144
Jan-2014 75 2,500 107 1,216
Feb-2014 119 2,349 11 1,182
Mar-2014 53 2,374 20 1,122
Apr-2014 166 2,394 100 1,082
May-2014 271 2,200 185 1,183
Jun-2014 535 2,525 843 1,842
Jul-2014 729 3,036 355 2,045
Aug-2014 890 3,638 437 2,297
Sep-2014 736 3,931 402 2,596
Oct-2014 298 4,074 244 2,797
Nov-2014 77 4,043 195 2,955
Dec-2014 85 4,035 95 2,994
Jan-2015 129 4,089 289 3,176
Feb-2015 61 4,031 42 3,207
Mar-2015 155 4,133 58 3,245
Apr-2015 334 4,301 137 3,282
May-2015 588 4,618 389 3,486
Jun-2015 855 4,937 494 3,137
Jul-2015 914 5,122 542 3,324
Aug-2015 654 4,885 415 3,302
Sep-2015 501 4,650 229 3,129
Oct-2015 550 4,903 230 3,115
Nov-2015 313 5,139 99 3,019
Dec-2015 273 5,326 175 3,099
Jan-2016 234 5,431 52 2,862
Feb-2016 116 5,486 - 2,820
Mar-2016 308 5,640 213 2,975
Apr-2016 427 5,732 183 3,021
May-2016 531 5,674 474 3,106
Jun-2016 951 5,771 972 3,584
Jul-2016 746 5,603 539 3,581
Aug-2016 1,025 5,974 582 3,748
Sep-2016 691 6,164 387 3,906
Oct-2016 750 6,364 202 3,878
Nov-2016 367 6,418 37 3,816
Dec-2016 17 6,162 - 3,641
Jan-2017 58 5,986 42 3,631
Feb-2017 101 5,971 - 3,631
Mar-2017 74 5,737 97 3,515
Apr-2017 127 5,437 96 3,428
May-2017 363 5,270 365 3,319
Jun-2017 609 4,928 537 2,884
Jul-2017 458 4,639 544 2,889
Aug-2017 278 3,892 184 2,491
Sep-2017 403 3,603 241 2,345
Oct-2017 440 3,293 261 2,404
Nov-2017 354 3,280 56 2,423
Dec-2017 288 3,551 184 2,607
Jan-2018 183 3,676 70 2,635
Feb-2018 152 3,726 214 2,849
Mar-2018 357 4,008 287 3,039
Apr-2018 490 4,371 217 3,160
May-2018 550 4,557 634 3,429
Jun-2018 488 4,437 1,169 4,061
Jul-2018 596 4,576 778 4,295
Aug-2018 530 4,828 545 4,656
Sep-2018 746 5,172 444 4,859
Oct-2018 526 5,258 187 4,785
Nov-2018 277 5,181 287 5,016
Dec-2018 67 4,961 246 5,078
Jan-2019 136 4,914 108 5,116
Feb-2019 139 4,902 93 4,995
Mar-2019 251 4,796 67 4,775
Apr-2019 247 4,554 195 4,753
May-2019 739 4,743 797 4,916
Jun-2019 935 5,190 801 4,548
Jul-2019 2,255 6,849 1,287 5,057
Aug-2019 1,713 8,032 886 5,398
Sep-2019 1,453 8,739 802 5,756
Oct-2019 555 8,768 583 6,152
Nov-2019 563 9,054 354 6,219
Dec-2019 190 9,176 227 6,200
Jan-2020 284 9,325 188 6,280
Feb-2020 185 9,371 102 6,289
Mar-2020 327 9,447 324 6,546
Apr-2020 407 9,606 529 6,880
May-2020 833 9,701 649 6,732
Jun-2020 1,039 9,806 822 6,753
Jul-2020 1,654 9,205 1,147 6,613
Aug-2020 1,359 8,850 1,499 7,226
Sep-2020 964 8,361

 

* In August 2016, the table data for the DETER columns switches from DETER to DETER-B, Brazil's new deforestation detection system.

Drone photo of deforestation in the Bolivian Amazon for soybeans. Photo by Rhett A. Butler.

Last update: 2019-Nov-18

Table: Annual deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. All figures in square kilometers

year sq mi sq km
1988 8,127 21,050
1989 6,861 17,770
1990 5,301 13,730
1991 4,259 11,030
1992 5,323 13,786
1993 5,751 14,896
1994 5,751 14,896
1995 11,220 29,059
1996 7,012 18,161
1997 5,107 13,227
1998 6,712 17,383
1999 6,664 17,259
2000 7,037 18,226
2001 7,014 18,165
2002 8,359 21,651
2003 9,805 25,396
2004 10,723 27,772
2005 7,341 19,014
2006 5,516 14,286
2007 4,498 11,651
2008 4,985 12,911
2009 2,882 7,464
2010 2,703 7,000
2011 2,478 6,418
2012 1,765 4,571
2013 2,275 5,891
2014 1,935 5,012
2015 2,397 6,207
2016 3,047 7,893
2017 2,682 6,947
2018 2,910 7,536
2019 3,911 10,129

 

* In August 2016, the table data for the DETER columns switches from DETER to DETER-B, Brazil's new deforestation detection system.





 

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