Selective logging, road building and fires are threatening biodiversity in Brazil's Amazon despite a requirement that rural landowners maintain at least 80 percent of their forest cover in the world's largest rain forest, researchers said on Wednesday.

In 2012, Brazil enacted a law to protect forests and help establish clearer rules for the ranchers, soy growers and other producers who pushed into the Amazon rain forest and other sensitive regions in recent decades.

The new code carried over from previous legislation a requirement to maintain forest cover on 80 percent of rural properties in the Amazon, 35 percent in the central savanna region and 20 percent in other areas of the country.