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The world’s largest tropical rainforest is increasingly vulnerable to fires lit by bands of miners, loggers, and farmers who have been razing patches of the biome at a rate environmentalists call unsustainable. Between 2006 and 2017, Brazil’s part of the Amazon lost roughly 91,890 square miles of forest cover, according to an analysis of satellite images by Global Forest Watch. That area is larger than the combined territory of New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
As fires continue to ravage the rainforest, leading environmentalists and federal prosecutors warn that the Amazon is on the brink of irreversible damage that could lead to the extinction of species of flora, fauna, and indigenous communities. This image of the Amazon rainforest was taken on April 3, 2018 in Pará, a northern state of Brazil.