Create/preserve primate habitat on islands before dam construction
Overall effectiveness category No evidence found (no assessment)
Number of studies: 0
Background information and definitions
Almost 20% of the world’s electricity is being provided by dams along rivers (Harrison-Levine et al. 2016), which can pose a severe threat to local primate population persistence (Estrada et al. 2017). In 2004, the WWF reported that 1,600 new large dams were under construction and that a high proportion of these are in primate range countries. There are also plans for 151 new dams in the Amazon basin, of which more than 80% would drive deforestation due to new roads, transmission lines, or inundation. At least 17 of the world’s remaining 64 large free-flowing rivers are in danger of being dammed by 2020, including several within primate habitat countries in South America and Southeast Asia (Harrison-Levine et al. 2016). To reduce/avoid the drowning of primates during flooding, this intervention makes sure that there are islands covered in primate habitat that the animals can flee to in order to survive. However, there are several problems with this approach. For example, primates that flee to such islands may encounter overcrowded habitats and increased competition with conspecifics. These individuals are unfamiliar with the new habitat, resulting in difficulties to find food, water, shelter, and mates, and they may be at a higher risk of disease and predation (Harrison-Levine et al. 2016).
Estrada A., Garber P.A., Rylands A.B., Roos C., Fernandez-Duque E., Di Fiore A., Nekaris K.A.-I., Nijman V., Heymann E.W., Lambert J.E., Rovero F., Barelli C., Setchell J.M., Gillespie T.R., Mittermeier R.A., Verde Arregoitia L., de Guinea M., Gouveia S., Dobrovolski R., Shanee S., Shanee N., Boyle S.A., Fuentes A., MacKinnon K.C., Amato K.R., Meyer A.L.S., Wich S., Sussman R.W., Pan R., Kone I. & Li B. (2017) Impending extinction crisis of the world’s primates: why primates matter. Science Advances, 3, e1600946.
Harrison-Levine A.L., Covert H.H., Norconk M.A., dos Santos R.R., Barnett A.A. & Fearnside P.M. (2016) Dams: implications of widespread anthropic flooding for primate populations. Pages 1-14 in: A.A. Barnett, I. Matsuda & K. Nowak (eds.) Primates in Flooded Habitats: Ecology and Conservation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.