As several countries are in a frenzy to construct more hydropower plants, these initiatives might have serious repercussions on the wildlife. A new research states that the massive hydropower dams threaten the wildlife in the Amazon, which includes birds, mammals, and even tortoises.
The Brazilian Balbina Dam has transformed the peaceful forest into a manmade archipelago of around 3,500 islands. On these islands, it has been noticed that several vertebrate species have disappeared, says a study that was published on Wednesday by the England’s University of East Anglia. According to the co-author of this study, they are now watching the extinction unveil in front of them. Furthermore, the author has said that they have discovered an incredible amount of local extinction rates. This includes even in the regions that are belong to a biological reserve are by law protected from hunting.
At present, Brazil receives a majority of its electricity from hydropower plants and similar to other emerging nations it is planning to construct hundreds of new dams in order to meet the ever-growing demand for energy. Hydropower is considered as an alternative, green energy as it tends to reuse water and churn out more electricity as compared to other renewable energy sources.
However, according to the two-year long study there is shocking evidence on the threat the hydropower dams pose to the wildlife in Amazon. The author of the study states that they have analyzed every single species which is larger in size than a pound. The research team targeted approximately three dozen species.
Presently, a minority of islands still possess a diverse wildlife. According to the research team, the extinction rate of these three dozen islands were surveyed and most of the large ones had an extinction rate of 42 per cent. These estimates have jumped to a shocking 70 per cent for the complete reservoir area.