||Satellite imagery has become a powerful tool to analyze land-use trends across large
portions of the globe, including remote areas where access is logistically or political
impossible. Due to the rapid pace of deforestation, the high biodiversity contained
within, and the difficulty of access and standardized field surveys, the tropics are
a key front for using remote sensing to identify target areas for conservation action
and, more recently, to inform species-level trends. This study focuses on deforestation
in eastern Indonesia, which has some of the highest rates of forest clearing in the
world from mining, plantation expansion, timber extraction, and shifting agriculture.
Forest loss on the highly biodiverse islands of the North Maluku district in eastern
Indonesia was examined from 1990 to 2003 and the conservation status of 39 restricted-range
avian species found in the area was re-assessed from these trends. Of the land area
available for analysis, forests declined from 86% to just under 70% in these thirteen
years, with much of this occurring in the lowlands (below 400m). Consequently, those
species with large amounts of their range at low elevations were disproportionately
affected, with 10 out of 25 endemic species being under more threat than currently
listed by the IUCN Red List and only 3 being considered safer than currently listed.