ASUNCION – Some 25 million trees were felled in October in the Chaco, a region shared by Paraguay, Argentina and Bolivia, environmental organization Guyra Paraguay said.
That figure represents 50,574 hectares (124,875 acres) of land, an expanse 2.5 times the size of the Argentine metropolis of Buenos Aires, the group said.
Deforestation in the Chaco, South America’s second-largest woodland after Amazonia, took place at a pace of 1,686 hectares (4,163 acres) per day in October.
Fifty-five percent of the October tree-cutting occurred in Paraguay, compared with 34 percent in Argentina and 11 percent in Bolivia, Guyra said in a report based on analysis of satellite images posted on the Web site GeoPortal CartoChaco.
Loss of forest was accompanied by a decline in the area covered by water from 2 million hectares (4.9 million acres) in August to 1.6 million hectares (3.9 million acres) by the end of October.
The Chaco is home to tens of thousands of indigenous people.