Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 13, Issue 10, pp 1809–1818 | Cite as

Mapping and predicting deforestation patterns in the lowlands of Sumatra

  • Matthew Linkie
  • Robert J. Smith
  • Nigel Leader-Williams


Protected area managers have limited resources and so need fine-scale information to decide where to focus their budgets for law enforcement and community outreach. This study used satellite imagery to map and analyse forest loss in an area that overlaps with Kerinci Seblat National Park, Sumatra, to identify areas most susceptible to illegal logging. Between 1985 and 1992, forest located at lower elevation and close to roads was most vulnerable to clearance. These factors were also significant between 1992 and 1999, along with distance to newly created logging roads. The presence of these roads probably explained why the deforestation rate increased from 1.1% per year to 3.0% per year over the two study periods. The accuracy of the 1985–1992 model was measured in the field and successfully predicted subsequent deforestation patterns, suggesting that this methodology could be used to identify where future patrolling effort and community outreach programmes should be focussed. In addition, this approach could be used more widely in conservation planning to prioritise the protection of vulnerable sites.

Conservation planning Deforestation Kerinci Seblat National Park Satellite imagery Sumatra 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Achard F., Eva H.D., Stibig H.J., Mayaux P., Gallego J., Richards T. et al. 2002. Determination of deforestation rates of the world's humid tropical forests. Science 297: 999–1002.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bawa K.S. and Dayanandan S. 1997. Socio-economic factors and tropical deforestation. Nature 293: 562–563.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bruner A.G., Gullison R.E., Rice R.E. and da Fonseca G.A.B. 2001. Effectiveness of parks in protecting tropical biodiversity. Science 291: 125–128.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Diamond J.M. 1975. The island dilemma: lessons of modern biogeographic studies for the design of nature reserves. Biological Conservation 7: 129–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dirzo R. and Garcia M.C. 1992. Rates of deforestation in Los Tuxtlas, a neotropical area in southeast Mexico. Conservation Biology 6: 84–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Geist H.J. and Lambin E.F. 2002. Proximate causes and underlying driving forces of tropical deforestation. Bioscience 52: 143–150.Google Scholar
  7. Green G.M. and Sussman R.W. 1990. Deforestation history of the eastern rain forest of Madagascar from satellite images. Science 248: 212–215.Google Scholar
  8. Holden J. 1997. Results of Photo-trapping; Kerinci Seblat National Park and Adjoining Areas. Fauna and Flora International, Indonesia.Google Scholar
  9. Holmes D. 2001. Deforestation in Indonesia: A Review of the Situation in Sumatra, Kalimantan, and Sulawesi. World Bank, Jakarta, Indonesia.Google Scholar
  10. Hooge P.N. and Eichenlaub B. 2000. Animal Movement Extension to ArcView v. 2.0. Alaska Science Center, Biological Science Office, US Geological Survey, Anchorage, Alaska.Google Scholar
  11. James A., Gaston K.J. and Balmford A. 2001. Can we afford to conserve biodiversity? Bioscience 51: 43–52.Google Scholar
  12. Jepson P., Jarvie J.K., MacKinnon K. and Monk K.A. 2001. The end for Indonesia's lowland forests? Science 292: 859–861.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Koenig W.D. 1999. Spatial autocorrelation of ecological phenomena. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 14: 22–26.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Kummer D.M. and Turner B.L. 1994. The human causes of deforestation in southeast Asia. Bioscience 44: 323–328.Google Scholar
  15. Kinnaird M.F., Sanderson E.W., O'Brien T.G., Wibisono H.T. and Woolmer G. 2003. Deforestation trends in a tropical landscape and implications for endangered large mammals. Conservation Biology 17: 245–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. LauranceW.F. 1999. Reflections on the tropical deforestation crisis. Biological Conservation 91: 109–117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Laurance W.F. and Bierregaard R.O. 1997. Tropical Forest Remnants: Ecology, Management, and Conservation of Fragmented Communities. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois.Google Scholar
  18. Laurance W.F., Cochrane M.A., Bergen S., Fearnside P.M., Delamonica P., Barber C. et al. 2001. The future of the Brazilian Amazon. Science 291: 438–439.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Laurance W.F., Albernaz A.K.M., Schroth G., Fearnside P.M., Bergen S., Venticinque E.M. et al. 2002. Predictors of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. Journal of Biogeography 29: 737–748.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Leader-Williams N. and Albon S.D. 1988. Allocation of resources for conservation. Nature 336: 533–535.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Levine N. 2000. CrimeStat: A Spatial Statistics Program for the Analysis of Crime Incident Locations. Ned Levine and Associates and the National Institute of Justice, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  22. Linkie M., Martyr D.J., Holden J., Yanuar A., Sugardjito J., Hartana A. et al. 2003. Habitat loss and poaching threaten the Sumatran tiger in Kerinci Seblat National Park, Sumatra. Oryx 37: 41–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Margules C.R. and Pressey R.L. 2000. Systematic conservation planning. Nature 405: 243–253.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Mendoza E. and Dirzo R. 1999. Deforestation in Lacandonia (southeast Mexico): evidence for the declaration of the northernmost tropical hot-spot. Biodiversity and Conservation 8: 1621–1641.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mertens B. and Lambin E.F. 1997. Spatial modelling of deforestation in southern Cameroon. Applied Geography 17: 143–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Myers N., Mittermeier R.A., Mittermeier C.G., da Fonseca G.A.B. and Kent J. 2000. Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 403: 853–858.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Pearce J. and Ferrier S. 2000. Evaluating the predictive performance of habitat models developed using logistic regression. Ecological Modelling 133: 225–245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Peres C.A. and Terborgh J.W. 1995. Amazonian nature reserves: an analysis of the defensibility status of existing conservation units and design criteria for the future. Conservation Biology 9: 34–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Pressey R.L. and Taffs K.H. 2001. Scheduling conservation action in production landscapes: priority areas in western New South Wales defined by irreplaceability and vulnerability to vegetation loss. Biological Conservation 100: 355–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sader S.A. and Joyce A.T. 1988. Deforestation rates and trends in Costa Rica, 1940 to 1983. Biotropica 20: 11–19.Google Scholar
  31. Sánchez-Azofeifa G.A., Quesada-Mateo C., Gonzalez-Quesada P., Dayanandan S. and Bawa K.S. 1999. Protected areas and conservation of biodiversity in the tropics. Conservation Biology 13: 407–411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sánchez-Azofeifa G.A., Daily G.C., Pfaff A.S.P. and Busch C. 2003. Integrity and isolation of Costa Rica's national parks and biological reserves: examining the dynamics of land-cover change. Biological Conservation 109: 123–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sokal R.R. and Rohlf F.J. 1995. Biometry: The Principles and Practice of Statistics in Biological Research. Freeman, New York.Google Scholar
  34. Swets J.A. 1988. Measuring the accuracy of diagnostic systems. Science 240: 1285–1292.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Trejo I. and Dirzo R. 2000. Deforestation of seasonally dry tropical forest: a national and local analysis in Mexico. Biological Conservation 94: 133–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Vina A. and Cavelier J. 1999. Deforestation rates (1938-1988) of tropical lowland forests on the Andean foothills of Columbia. Biotropica 31: 31–36.Google Scholar
  37. Whitten T., Holmes D. and MacKinnon K. 2001. Conservation biology: a displacement behavior for academia? Conservation Biology 15: 1–3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. WWF 1999. Village facilitating NGO Kerinci Seblat-IDCP. WWF-Indonesia quarterly report October-December 1999. World Wide Fund for Nature, Indonesia Programme, Sungai Penuh, Indonesia.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew Linkie
  • Robert J. Smith
  • Nigel Leader-Williams

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations