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Throughout much of the 1980s, deforestation in Brazil eliminated more than 15,000 square kilometers (9000 square miles) of forest per year. Data gathered by several satellites in the Landsat series of spacecraft shows enormous tracts of forest disappearing in Rondonia, Brazil from 1975 through 2001. The human phenomenon of deforestation starts, especially in the dense tropical forests of Brazil, when systematic cutting of a road opens new territory to potential deforestation by penetrating into new areas. Clearing of vegetation along the sides of those roads then tends to fan out to create a pattern akin to a fish skeleton. As new paths appear in the woods, more areas become vulnerable. Finally, the spaces between the skeletal bones fall to defoliation.
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