Loss of Forest Cover in Kalimantan, Indonesia, Since the 1997-1998 El Niño

D. O. Fuller, T. C. Jessup, A. Salim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


Deforestation in Indonesia poses a significant threat to the region's biodiversity. We mapped forest cover in Kalimantan, Indonesia, in 2002, with imagery provided by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS). The MODIS-based forest and nonforest map showed good agreement with other sources of recent data on forest cover. Comparison of MODIS forest cover with Indonesian government data from 1996 revealed that almost 3 million ha of forest were lost in Kalimantan since the major El Niño event of 1997-1998, when a drought produced unprecedented biomass burning in the region. Over two-thirds of the deforestation occurred in proposed and existing protected areas, especially those of 100,000-250,000 ha. The loss of forest in proposed and existing protected areas suggests that Kalimantan's protected-area network is no longer viable and that alternative conservation strategies, such as timber certification and improved monitoring and enforcement, are needed to preserve remaining forest habitats there.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-254
Number of pages6
JournalConservation Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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