The people of the Wapichan communities of South Rupununi on Tuesday unveiled a digital map of their traditional territories along with a plan that if successfully implemented would protect 1.4 million hectares of pristine rainforest, while preserving their cultural, linguistic and historic heritage.
A caecilian (snake-like amphibian) discovered in the Iwokrama Forest in 2010 was thought to be the only terrestrial caecillian without lungs, challenging a long standing evolutionary hypothesis about these creatures. However, a more recent expedition collected specimens that show that indeed this species does possess lungs.
A UNDP-funded survey is underway to determine status of giant Arapaima fish in the North Rupununi. This giant fish is an important food resource in the Rupununi, and is harvested under a quota system.
The highest resolution forest loss map to date is today published in the journal Science. The global map includes deforestation across the world including Guyana since 2000, at a resolution of 30m. The collaboration between the University of Maryland, NASA and Google Inc is the first of its kind, and the data will be freely available from January 2014.
See the interactive map here: http://earthenginepartners.appspot.com/science-2013-global-forest
Source: Hansen, M.C., Potapov, P.V., Moore, R., Hancher, M., Turubanova, S.A., Tyukavina, A., Thau, D., Stehman, S.V., Goetz, S.J., Loveland, T.R., Kommareddy, A., Egorov, A., Chini, L., Justice, C.O. & Townshend, J.R.G. (2013) High-resolution global maps of 21st-century forest cover change. Science, 342, 850-853.
The Guyana government has signed on to a new international pact to control mercury emissions – the Minamata Convention on Mercury. This was done during an international conference organised by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and held in Minamata, Japan from October 9 to 11.
How to balance logging, biodiversity and carbon sequestration.
The November 2013 issue of Discover Magazine features PhD student Jake Bicknell who has been working in the Iwokrama Forest on the impacts of forestry using reduced-impact logging.
A new species of orchid has been discovered in the Pakaraima Mountains, atop the majestic Kamarau Falls, Kurupung River. The new species named Sobralia pakaraimense was found during field studies by the University of Gdansk in 1992, but has only now been described as a distinct species. Eight species of the genus Sobralia are now known from Guyana.
A new study published in the scientific journal Biotropica, explains patterns in the spatial distributions of three species of primates in the Rupununi area of Guyana. The study by the Project Fauna team is based on three years of field surveys by local communities, and shows that competition between species is fundamental to species distributions, as well as habitat and fruit availability.
The General Assembly of the International Society of Biodiversity of the Guiana Shield (IBG) unanimously approved the award to host the IV International Congress on Biodiversity of the Guiana Shield in 2016 to Guyana. The Guyana’s case to host the IV Congress was presented by Ms. Vanessa Benn of the Iwokrama International Centre. Ms. Benn and Dr. Patrick Williams, Country Director of WWF Guyana, were nominated to serve as Guyana representatives on the IBG’s Board for the next three years.