Wednesday, 1 June 2016
Big dams worldwide causing extinction of species: Study
LONDON: Despite being hailed as conservation sanctuaries that protect species from hunting and deforestation, reservoir islands created by large dams across the world undergo sustained loss of species every year, new research has found.
"We found a devastating reduction in species over time in the majority of reservoir islands we studied. On average, islands have 35 percent fewer species than nearby mainland sites. One South American bird community suffered as much as 87 percent loss of species on reservoir islands," said lead study author Isabel Jones from University of Stirling in Scotland.
"No matter where the dam is located, the island size, or which species are present, there is sustained loss of species, with many in existing dams still potentially facing extinction," Jones noted.
The research was published in the journal Biological Conservation.
The conservation experts examined research covering changes in species richness of birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, invertebrates and plants on more than 200 islands created by large dams, including Brazil's Balbina reservoir and China's Thousand Island Lake .
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