Navjot's nightmare revisited: Logging, agriculture, and biodiversity in Southeast Asia

David S. Wilcove, Xingli Giam, David P. Edwards, Brendan Fisher, Lian Pin Koh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

360 Scopus citations


In 2004, Navjot Sodhi and colleagues warned that logging and agricultural conversion of Southeast Asia's forests were leading to a biodiversity disaster. We evaluate this prediction against subsequent research and conclude that most of the fauna of the region can persist in logged forests. Conversely, conversion of primary or logged forests to plantation crops, such as oil palm, causes tremendous biodiversity loss. This loss is exacerbated by increased fire frequency. Therefore, we conclude that preventing agricultural conversion of logged forests is essential to conserving the biodiversity of this region. Our analysis also suggests that, because Southeast Asian forests are tightly tied to global commodity markets, conservation payments commensurate with combined returns from logging and subsequent agricultural production may be required to secure long-term forest protection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)531-540
Number of pages10
JournalTrends in Ecology and Evolution
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


  • Deforestation
  • Extinction
  • Forest degradation
  • Oil palm
  • Southeast Asia


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