Published in the journal Science, the research has looked at images of the area from 1976-2003 and calculated the growth in industrial logging and the accompanying spread of roads covering 52,000km.

The Woods Hole Research Centre undertook the study in order to help forestry organisations operating in Central Africa and conservation groups better understand the growth in logging and the implications it could have on indigenous species.

“Roads provide access and this research provides clear evidence that the rainforests of Central Africa are not as remote as they once were,” said one of the report’s authors Jared Stabach.

“A bad thing for many of the species that call it home.”

Co-author Scott Goetz added that the study was a tool to help African nations “monitor what is happening to their forests”.