Disturbance and deforestation have profound ecological and socioeconomic effects on tropical forests, but their diffuse patterns are difficult to detect and quantify at regional scales. We expanded the Carnegie forest damage detection system to show that, between 1999 and 2005, disturbance and deforestation rates throughout the Peruvian Amazon averaged 632 square kilometers per year and 645 square kilometers per year, respectively. However, only 1 to 2% occurred within natural protected areas, indigenous territories contained only 11% of the forest disturbances and 9% of the deforestation, and recent forest concessions effectively protected against clear-cutting. Although the region shows recent increases in disturbance and deforestation rates and leakage into forests surrounding concession areas, land-use policy and remoteness are serving to protect the Peruvian Amazon.
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