Dam’s vertebrate biodiversity impact gauged


A study published this month says that the Balbina dam, one of the world’s largest hydroelectric complexes in terms of total flooded area, drastically reduced vertebrate biodiversity by carving much of their surviving habitat into reservoir islands. The study, in the science journal PLOS ONE, is the first to assess how medium- to large-sized vertebrates are affected over the long term when flooding turns their primary-forest habitat into an archipelago. It concludes that the biodiversity impacts of such mega dams have been overlooked and pose a major threat to terrestrial species worldwide. “Other studies have shown that large dams result in severe losses in fishery revenues, increases in greenhouse gas emissions and socioeconomic costs to local communities,” says Maíra Benchimol, the study’s lead... [Log in to read more]

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