Four hundred million hectares--an area bigger than Mexico and Indonesia combined. About the size of the Brazilian Amazon.
That's how much of the world's tropical forests are being selectively logged. Unfortunately, these logged forests are intensely vulnerable to being cleared for oil palm, slash-and-burn farming, and other land-uses.
In the past, biologists have often emphasized the negative impacts of logging on biodiversity. But a growing body of evidence shows that even heavily or repeatedly logged forests still retain most of their species and ecological functions.
That's a vital conclusion because it underscores just how valuable these logged forests are.
In a recent editorial, ALERT director Bill Laurance and his colleague David Edwards argue that protecting logged tropical forests should be very high on the agendas of conservationists.
With the rapid decline of old-growth tropical forests, retaining logged forests--and devising economically viable ways to manage them over the long term--are key priorities for the future.