Researchers at work: Workshop highway duplication Sooretama reserve, Espírito Santo

November 16, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Researchers at work: Workshop about the highway through the Sooretama reserve and upgrading this highway from a 2-lane road to a 4-lane highway. The reserve is literally one of the last refuges in the region for jaguars and tapirs in Espírito Santo, Brazil. Wildlife-vehicle collisions are a direct threat to both human safety and the wildlife. A few weeks ago a woman hit a pregnant tapir on the highway through the reserve. The tapir died, the woman ended up in the hospital... it was the second collision with a tapir on that road section within three months. Wildlife in the reserve are also severely threatened by ongoing habitat fragmentation. Several species in the Sooretama reserve, including the jaguar, are unlikely to survive for more than a few decades without restoring habitat connectivity. The current jaguar population in the reserve is estimated at 9-23 individuals. The area needs to be effectively linked to other areas through corridors, and larger scale habitat restoration may also be required. Upgrading the highway without effective mitigation will only add to the fragmentation problem and makes it more likely that species such as the jaguar will disappear from the area within the next few decades. However, we have learned from other projects that large, threatened cat species can start the road to recovery if direct road mortality is reduced through tall fences (3 m tall) and overspan bridges are installed in sufficient numbers at the correct locations.

The workshop was organized by Aureo Banhos and his colleagues at the Universidade Federal do Espírito Santo (ADUFES), Vitória, Espírito Santo, Brazil. Click here for more info about the workshop.

Image below: One of the task groups at the workshop about upgrading the highway through the Sooretama reserve, Vitória, Espírito Santo, Brazil

One of the task groups at the workshop about upgrading the highway through the Sooretama reserve, Vitória, Espírito Santo, BrazilOne of the task groups at the workshop about upgrading the highway through the Sooretama reserve, Vitória, Espírito Santo, BrazilOne of the task groups at the workshop about upgrading the highway through the Sooretama reserve, Vitória, Espírito Santo, Brazil

Image below: Fernanda Abra and Andressa Gatti at work at the workshop about upgrading the highway through the Sooretama reserve, Vitória, Espírito Santo, Brazil

Fernanda Abra and Andressa Gatti at work at the workshop about upgrading the highway through the Sooretama reserve, Vitória, Espírito Santo, BrazilFernanda Abra and Andressa Gatti at work at the workshop about upgrading the highway through the Sooretama reserve, Vitória, Espírito Santo, BrazilFernanda Abra and Andressa Gatti at work at the workshop about upgrading the highway through the Sooretama reserve, Vitória, Espírito Santo, Brazil

Image below: Warning sign for a tapir at the workshop about upgrading the highway through the Sooretama reserve, Vitória, Espírito Santo, Brazil

Warning sign for a tapir at the workshop about upgrading the highway through the Sooretama reserve, Vitória, Espírito Santo, BrazilWarning sign for a tapir at the workshop about upgrading the highway through the Sooretama reserve, Vitória, Espírito Santo, BrazilWarning sign for a tapir at the workshop about upgrading the highway through the Sooretama reserve, Vitória, Espírito Santo, Brazil

Image below: A public hearing about upgrading the highway through the Sooretama reserve in the Legislative Assembly of Espírito Santo (Assembleia Legislativa do Espírito Santo), Vitória, Espírito Santo in Brazil

A public hearing about upgrading the highway through the Sooretama reserve in the Legislative Assembly of Espírito Santo (Assembleia Legislativa do Espírito Santo), Vitória, Espírito Santo in BrazilA public hearing about upgrading the highway through the Sooretama reserve in the Legislative Assembly of Espírito Santo (Assembleia Legislativa do Espírito Santo), Vitória, Espírito Santo in BrazilA public hearing about upgrading the highway through the Sooretama reserve in the Legislative Assembly of Espírito Santo (Assembleia Legislativa do Espírito Santo), Vitória, Espírito Santo in Brazil

Image below: Tomas De Lima Rocha and Marcel Huijser at a public hearing about upgrading the highway through the Sooretama reserve in the Legislative Assembly of Espírito Santo (Assembleia Legislativa do Espírito Santo), Vitória, Espírito Santo in Brazil

Tomas De Lima Rocha and Marcel Huijser at a public hearing about upgrading the highway through the Sooretama reserve in the Legislative Assembly of Espírito Santo (Assembleia Legislativa do Espírito STomas De Lima Rocha and Marcel Huijser at a public hearing about upgrading the highway through the Sooretama reserve in the Legislative Assembly of Espírito Santo (Assembleia Legislativa do Espírito STomas De Lima Rocha and Marcel Huijser at a public hearing about upgrading the highway through the Sooretama reserve in the Legislative Assembly of Espírito Santo (Assembleia Legislativa do Espírito Santo), Vitória, Espírito Santo in Brazil


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