Road ecology blog: The abandoned dirt road Estrada do Colono, Iguaçu, Brazil

October 10, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Road ecology blog: The abandoned dirt road Estrada do Colono (- Settler's Road-), Parque Nacional do Iguaçu, Brazil

 

The abandoned dirt road Estrada do Colono (" Settler's Road"), Parque Nacional do Iguaçu, Brazil. This dirt road used to cut across the national park and threatened the integrity and connectivity of the park. The road had illegal settlements and deforestation and poaching associated with it. The road was closed in 1986, but locals started using the road again illegally between 1997 and 2001. In 2001 the road was declared formally closed again, and the illegal settlers were removed. The illegal ferry on the southeast side of the park across the river "Rio Iguaçu" that provided access to the road north of the river was blown up and sunk by law enforcement personnel. Since then the road has been abandoned. Grass-herb vegetation, shrubs and trees now grow on the old road bed. Note that the roadbed was not removed, the road was simply no longer used. The substrate is compacted, the ditches are still present on either side, and the culverts for the streams were never removed.

 

Ideally, the roadbed, ditches and culverts should have been removed, and the soil should have been de-compacted. This would have allowed for a more rapid and natural direction of the succession, and it would have restored the hydrology. However, given the time passed since the most recent closure, the level of regrowth, and political sensitivities, it seems best to leave the situation as is rather than go in with heavy equipment.

The abandoned dirt road Estrada do Colono (" Settler's Road"),The abandoned dirt road Estrada do Colono (" Settler's Road"),The abandoned dirt road Estrada do Colono (" Settler's Road"), Parque Nacional do Iguaçu, Brazil. This dirt road used to cut across the national park and threatetend the integrity and connectivity of the park. The road had illegal settlements and deforestation and poaching associated with it. The road was closed in 1986, but locals started using the road again illegally between 1997 and 2001. In 2001 the road was declared formally closed again, and the illegal settlers were removed. Since then the road has been abandoned. Grass-herb vegetation, shrubs and trees now grow on the old road bed. Note that the roadbed was not removed. The substrate is compacted, and the ditches are still present on either side. The abandoned dirt road Estrada do Colono (" Settler's Road"),The abandoned dirt road Estrada do Colono (" Settler's Road"),The abandoned dirt road Estrada do Colono (" Settler's Road"), Parque Nacional do Iguaçu, Brazil. This dirt road used to cut across the national park and threatetend the integrity and connectivity of the park. The road had illegal settlements and deforestation and poaching associated with it. The road was closed in 1986, but locals started using the road again illegally between 1997 and 2001. In 2001 the road was declared formally closed again, and the illegal settlers were removed. Since then the road has been abandoned. Grass-herb vegetation, shrubs and trees now grow on the old road bed. Note that the roadbed was not removed. The substrate is compacted, and the ditches are still present on either side.

Image below: The ditches of the road are still in place

Ditch along the abandoned dirt road Estrada do Colono (" SettlerDitch along the abandoned dirt road Estrada do Colono (" SettlerDitch along the abandoned dirt road Estrada do Colono (" Settler's Road"), Parque Nacional do Iguaçu, Brazil. This dirt road used to cut across the national park and threatetend the integrity and connectivity of the park. The road had illegal settlements and deforestation and poaching associated with it. The road was closed in 1986, but locals started using the road again illegally between 1997 and 2001. In 2001 the road was declared formally closed again, and the illegal settlers were removed. Since then the road has been abandoned. Grass-herb vegetation, shrubs and trees now grow on the old road bed. Note that the roadbed was not removed. The substrate is compacted, and the ditches are still present on either side. The abandoned dirt road Estrada do Colono (" Settler's Road"),The abandoned dirt road Estrada do Colono (" Settler's Road"),The abandoned dirt road Estrada do Colono (" Settler's Road"), Parque Nacional do Iguaçu, Brazil. This dirt road used to cut across the national park and threatetend the integrity and connectivity of the park. The road had illegal settlements and deforestation and poaching associated with it. The road was closed in 1986, but locals started using the road again illegally between 1997 and 2001. In 2001 the road was declared formally closed again, and the illegal settlers were removed. Since then the road has been abandoned. Grass-herb vegetation, shrubs and trees now grow on the old road bed. Note that the roadbed was not removed. The substrate is compacted, and the ditches are still present on either side. The abandoned dirt road Estrada do Colono (" Settler's Road"),The abandoned dirt road Estrada do Colono (" Settler's Road"),The abandoned dirt road Estrada do Colono (" Settler's Road"), Parque Nacional do Iguaçu, Brazil. This dirt road used to cut across the national park and threatetend the integrity and connectivity of the park. The road had illegal settlements and deforestation and poaching associated with it. The road was closed in 1986, but locals started using the road again illegally between 1997 and 2001. In 2001 the road was declared formally closed again, and the illegal settlers were removed. Since then the road has been abandoned. Grass-herb vegetation, shrubs and trees now grow on the old road bed. Note that the roadbed was not removed. The substrate is compacted, and the ditches are still present on either side.

Image below: a concrete culvert across a creek was never removed and now is in pieces in the creek bed.

Broken culvert along the  abandoned dirt road Estrada do ColonoBroken culvert along the abandoned dirt road Estrada do ColonoBroken culvert along the abandoned dirt road Estrada do Colono (" Settler's Road"), Parque Nacional do Iguaçu, Brazil. This dirt road used to cut across the national park and threatetend the integrity and connectivity of the park. The road had illegal settlements and deforestation and poaching associated with it. The road was closed in 1986, but locals started using the road again illegally between 1997 and 2001. In 2001 the road was declared formally closed again, and the illegal settlers were removed. Since then the road has been abandoned. Grass-herb vegetation, shrubs and trees now grow on the old road bed. Note that the roadbed was not removed. The substrate is compacted, and the ditches are still present on either side. The abandoned dirt road Estrada do Colono (" Settler's Road"),The abandoned dirt road Estrada do Colono (" Settler's Road"),The abandoned dirt road Estrada do Colono (" Settler's Road"), Parque Nacional do Iguaçu, Brazil. This dirt road used to cut across the national park and threatetend the integrity and connectivity of the park. The road had illegal settlements and deforestation and poaching associated with it. The road was closed in 1986, but locals started using the road again illegally between 1997 and 2001. In 2001 the road was declared formally closed again, and the illegal settlers were removed. Since then the road has been abandoned. Grass-herb vegetation, shrubs and trees now grow on the old road bed. Note that the roadbed was not removed. The substrate is compacted, and the ditches are still present on either side.

The abandoned dirt road Estrada do Colono (" Settler's Road"),The abandoned dirt road Estrada do Colono (" Settler's Road"),The abandoned dirt road Estrada do Colono (" Settler's Road"), Parque Nacional do Iguaçu, Brazil. This dirt road used to cut across the national park and threatetend the integrity and connectivity of the park. The road had illegal settlements and deforestation and poaching associated with it. The road was closed in 1986, but locals started using the road again illegally between 1997 and 2001. In 2001 the road was declared formally closed again, and the illegal settlers were removed. Since then the road has been abandoned. Grass-herb vegetation, shrubs and trees now grow on the old road bed. Note that the roadbed was not removed. The substrate is compacted, and the ditches are still present on either side.

The abandoned dirt road Estrada do Colono (" Settler's Road"),The abandoned dirt road Estrada do Colono (" Settler's Road"),The abandoned dirt road Estrada do Colono (" Settler's Road"), Parque Nacional do Iguaçu, Brazil. This dirt road used to cut across the national park and threatetend the integrity and connectivity of the park. The road had illegal settlements and deforestation and poaching associated with it. The road was closed in 1986, but locals started using the road again illegally between 1997 and 2001. In 2001 the road was declared formally closed again, and the illegal settlers were removed. Since then the road has been abandoned. Grass-herb vegetation, shrubs and trees now grow on the old road bed. Note that the roadbed was not removed. The substrate is compacted, and the ditches are still present on either side.

Click here to view more images of Colono's road.

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