Mongabay posted a report about Illegal tin mining leaves trail of ruin in protected rainforest. Floresta Nacional de Altamira (Flona de Altamira) spans some 724,965 hectares in the state of Pará, and is home to a rich diversity of plants and animals, including several species threatened with extinction. Recently, an influx of illegal mining has led to rampant deforestation and the sullying of rivers. The miners are targeting the mineral cassiterite, the main ore of tin. Illegal ranching and road construction are also causing deforestation in Flona de Altamira. The government intervened earlier this year to put a stop to the mining, but satellite imagery shows deforestation around mining sites has picked back up since October.

“All of the deforestation started when we created a road,” said Antônio Victor Fonseca, an environmental engineer and researcher at Instituto do Homem e Meio Ambiente da Amazônia (Imazon). “So the government had this idea that we need to protect this area or we will lose all the forest here.”

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