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In the Amazon rainforest, small roads have big impacts

Cara J

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Cars, trucks, and other vehicles leave noise, pollution, and roadkill in their wake. But if those impacts are subtracted, what about the roads themselves? “We wanted to untangle the effects of a road from the effects of driving vehicles on that road,” says U.S. Forest Service scientist Daniel Saenz. The issue is especially important in the Amazon rainforest, where an estimated 160,000 miles of road already exist. “Very little research has been done on how these roads could affect wildlife,” says Saenz. This unpaved, little-used road had a significant impact on reptiles and amphibians. ©Ross Maynard, Stephen F. Austin University, CC 4.0 Saenz and his colleagues recently conducted a study on road effects on amphibians and reptiles in the Amazon rainforest at San José de Payamino, Ecuador. The study was published in Tropical Conservation Science, and led by Ross Maynard. Maynard is currently a biologist at The Biodiversity Group, but in 2014, when research for the study was being conducted, he was one of Saenz’s students at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas. The study took place in the Kichwa community of San José de Payamino, Ecuador. “Less than 10 years ago, the Payamino community was isolated, and to reach the nearest towns, [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/in-the-amazon-rainforest-small-roads-have-big-impacts/

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