Latest research: vulture and ibis recovery, Amazon hotspot in peril

The world may have ground to a halt during the COVID-19 crisis, but researchers around the globe are still writing and publishing papers on key scientific discoveries. 

Southern Festive Amazon © Cláudio Dias Timm

Government dam plan threatens Amazon biodiversity hotspot

Rio Branco, a tributary of the Amazon River, is a beautiful and truly unique natural spectacle. Upriver, crystal-clear water cascades through rapids, fringed with dense forest. Further down, its waters meander lazily across the Amazon floodplain. On its journey to the ocean, it supports a stunning diversity of species and habitats. Tragically, government plans to build a major hydroelectric dam on the river could permanently flood the area, destroying these ecosystems forever. 15 years of ornithological research shows that at least 439 bird species inhabit the zone, many of them rare and specialised. These include 23 species of global conservation concern – important information for campaigns to prevent this devastating development from going ahead.