3 articles found from author P. Ouboter

A comparison of terrestrial large-mammal communities betw...

By P. Ouboter | M. Hardjoprajitno | C. Kasanpawiro | K. Kishna | A. Soetotaroeno | V. Kadosoe
Data on terrestrial large-mammal communities were collected in the Brownsberg Nature Park, Raleighvallen/ Voltzberg area of the Central Suriname Nature Reserve and the Boven Coesewijne Nature Reserve. In the Brownsberg Nature Park we worked on the plateau, at approx. 500m elevation, in an area with limited illegal hunting.
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A comparison of terrestrial large-mammal communities between Brownsberg, Raleighvallen and Coesewijne, Suriname
Since the 1980’th small-scale gold mining is on the increase in Suriname. Most mining occurs in the eastern part of the country. In the small-scale gold mining the gold is usually amalgamated to mercury. An estimated 1 kg of mercury enters the environment for every kg of gold extracted, which means at least 10,000 kg of mercury released annually in the atmosphere and the aquatic environment of Suriname. In the aquatic environment bacteria may transform mercury into the extremely poisonous methyl mercury, which bio-accumulates in the food chain. As a result predatory fish will usually have high levels of methyl mercury in their tissues. Mercury poisoning causes many defects in animals and neurological health problems in humans. This review gives an overview of mercury pollution results for the aquatic environment, in the atmosphere and in humans in communities in the interior. Mercury pollution is not limited to the gold mining areas, because mercury is transported by water and wind to downstream and downwind areas. As a result predatory fish in most of central and western Suriname show high mercury levels as well. A possible explanation for the mechanism of polluting of undisturbed areas is given. Many communities in the interior show increased levels of mercury. Of four villages tested along the Saramacca River, the most upstream community, also upstream of any gold mining, showed the highest mercury levels. Villages with easy access to the capital, show lower mercury pollution because people are less dependent on local fish as a protein source. Mercury pollution also occurs in Paramaribo in the vicinity of gold shops. An overview of the gaps in our knowledge of mercury pollution in Suriname is presented.
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Review of mercury pollution in Suriname
Brownsberg Nature Park in Suriname has a rich biodiversity. The area is also threatened by mining, illegal hunting and possibly also tourism. To assess the impact of threats on the terrestrial mammal community, a long-term continuous monitoring survey was started in 2012. To assess mammal presence, abundance and activity, 27 camera traps were placed at 16 locations. In the three-year period the camera stations were triggered 55,949 times by an identifiable animal 27%, human 41% or vehicle 32%. Twenty-nine species of large terrestrial mammals were recorded, of which six were before this study only known to occur in the area through interviews with local residents. The crab-eating raccoon, was recorded from Brownsberg and the interior of Suriname for the first time. Twenty-eight percent of the species was recorded only after the first year and 10% only after the second year of camera trapping. Most species were relatively rare. The red-rumped agouti, puma, jaguar and red brocket deer caused most triggers. The relative abundance index RAI of agoutis and pumas was higher than reported anywhere else in the Americas. A seasonal pattern of activity could only be established for the agouti: highest activity in the period with most fruits on the ground, much less activity in the flowering period of most trees. None of the species seemed to decline over the three-year period. Twelve species can be considered of international conservation interest eight of these were shown to reproduce in the park. Differences in the number of triggers per species between areas could partly be explained by differences in tourism pressure.
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Three years of continuous monitoring of the large terrestrial mammals of Brownsberg Nature Park, Suriname

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