Mammal diversity before the construction of a hydroelectric power dam in southern Mexico

Briones–Salas, M.  Lavariega, M. C.  Lira–Torres, I.† 

Abstract

Hydroelectric power is a widely used source of energy in tropical regions but the impact on biodiversity and the environment is significant. In the Río Verde basin, southwestern of Oaxaca, Mexico, a project to build a hydroelectric dam is a potential threat to biodiversity. The aim of this work was to determine the parameters of mammals in the main types of vegetation in the Río Verde basin. We studied richness, relative abundances, and diversity of the community in general and among groups (bats, small mammals and medium and large–sized mammals). In the temperate forests, small mammals were the most diverse while medium–sized mammals and large mammals were the most diverse in land transformed by humans. As the Río Verde basin shelters 15 % of the land mammal species of Mexico, if the hydroelectric power dam is constructed, mitigation measures should include rescue programs, protection of the nearby similar forests, and population monitoring, particularly for endangered species (20 %) and endemic species (14 %). In a future scenario, whether the dam is constructed or not, management measures will be necessary to increase forest protection, vegetation corridors and corridors within the agricultural matrix in order to conserve the current high mammal diversity in the region.

Key words

Effective number of species, Río Verde basin, Oaxaca, Deciduous forest, Temperate forests, Mitigation

Reception date: 09 III 18 | Data d\'acceptció: 13 VIII 18 | Publication date: 05 XII 18

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