Newly discovered species in Suriname threatened by Alcoa corporation

This video is: A quick look at the wonderful fauna in Brownsberg nature park, in Suriname.

From Caribbean Net News:

Habitat of newly discovered species in Suriname threatened by mining

Published on Wednesday, March 26, 2008

By Ivan Cairo
Caribbean Net News Suriname Correspondent

PARAMARIBO, Suriname: The habitat of several newly discovered species in Suriname are being threatened by potential mining operations by US-based bauxite multinational Alcoa Inc. According to Tuesdays report in local newspaper de Ware Tijd, confidential internal communications and correspondence between Alcoa officials and conservationists indicates that Alcoa Inc. is seeking advise from Conservation International (CI) regarding possible mining activities in the Nassau plateau. Alcoa has also just started to discuss the potential Nassau project with joint-venture partner BHP-Billiton.

In June 2007 Conservation International (CI) presented the results of its Rapid Assessment Program (RAP) in the remote highlands of eastern Suriname, disclosing the discovery of 24 new species including frogs, fish, dung beetles and ants. The discoveries were made during a 2005 study led by Conservation International’s Rapid Assessment Program (RAP) and a follow-up survey in 2006 in the Lely and Nassau plateaus.

This toad may be a new species to science. It’s from the genus Atelopus, and was discovered during a follow-up survey of the Nassau plateau in mid 2006 by Surinamese scientists Paul Ouboter and Jan Mol. A population of these toads would be of significant concern, especially as it was found at the more disturbed of the two survey sites.

4 thoughts on “Newly discovered species in Suriname threatened by Alcoa corporation

  1. Biologists warn of rainforest mining threat from Alcoa, Newmont in Suriname., 23 februari 2009 A prominent group of biologists are calling for
    Alcoa, Newmont Mining Corp, and other minerals conglomerates to forgo gold and
    bauxite mining operations in a biologically-rich zone in the South American
    country of Suriname.
    In a resolution, the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC)
    warned that mining on the Nassau Plateau, a 400-square-kilometer area of
    unprotected rainforest, would destroy habitats that support rare and endemic
    species — including several newly discovered species (catfish, frogs, and a
    stunning purple toad).

    Mining operations would further encourage the influx of wildcat gold miners in
    the area, increasing environmental damage and putting pressure on wildlife, the
    resolution said.

    Gold mining in Suriname.
    A previously unknown species of Atelopus toad discovered on the Nassau plateau
    in Suriname. Atelopus toads have been particularly affected by the deadly
    chytrid fungus. The Nassau Plateau is in the southern portion of the area
    projected to be exploited by the massive Merian Gold Project, a venture of
    Surgold (Suriname Gold Company) managed by Newmont Oversees Exploration, a
    subsidiary of the USA-based Newmont Mining Corporation and Alcoa Worldwide
    Alumina,” stated the resolution, notinh that while Alcoa originally back off
    plans to fine the area, it is now showing renewed interest.

    A fact sheet on the Merian Gold Project states that habitats above 100 meters
    elevation will not be exploited for gold, but provides no indication of measures
    needed to protect habitats at higher elevations from small-scale mining,
    hunting, and collecting, all of which can have serious long-term impacts on
    rainforest ecosystems and wildlife,” continued the resolution.

    “Illegal gold-mining operations and hunting have risen dramatically around the
    Nassau Plateau since the late 1990s. The resolution calls for a ban on large-
    and small-scale mining of gold and bauxite from Nassau Plateau and its immediate
    surroundings as well as protective status for the area.

    It also urges educational outreach programs to inform the Suriname public “about
    the importance of protecting natural habitats and watersheds for their continued
    health, recreation, and national heritage.”

    With members in over 70 countries, ATBC is the world’s largest scientific
    organization devoted to the study and protection of tropical ecosystems.


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