It is not because the Brazilian government is unconcerned.
Brazilian forestry legislation currently requires that all forest strips alongside rivers and streams on private land be maintained as permanent reserves and it sets a minimum legal width of 60m . The study shows, however, that even this attempt at protecting the resource is still not enough and reductions of the existing legal limits are being considered by the Brazilian Congress.
According to Dr. Carlos Peres of University of East Anglia's (UEA) School of Environmental Sciences, "There are proposals on the table to actually weaken the minimum legal requirements, when they need to be strengthened."
Dr. Carlos' team has found that forest corridors act as strips of habitat connecting wildlife populations. If too widely separated by deforestation for fields and cattle pastures, local biotic species will be prevented from healthy breeding and re-establishment of dwindling populations of threatened species.
The UEA research team surveyed 37 remnant and intact riparian forest sites in the State of Mato Grosso, southern Brazilian Amazon, around the town of Alta Floresta. This region has a 30-year history of deforestation.
The team indicates that:
- Widening of each corridor to a minimum critical width of 400m is necessary.
- Fencing off large areas be allowed for regeneration following heavy browsing by livestock.