Perception of subsistence hunters in Lower Madeira on the impact of the Santo Antônio Hydroelectric Power Plant

Márcio José Silva Belfort, Glêidson da Silva Barbosa, Carolina Pereira da Silva, Marcela Alvares Oliveira


Brazil has one of the highest levels of biodiversity in the world, much of which is located in the Amazon region. The populations inhabiting this region guarantee their livelihood with natural resources, among which hunting stands out. The purpose of this study was to conduct a survey on the impacts caused by the Santo Antônio Hydroelectric Power Plant (HPP) to subsistence hunting downstream in Madeira River, Porto Velho-Rondônia. Interviews were conducted in eight communities downstream of the Santo Antônio HPP: São Carlos, Brasileira, Curicacas, Cuniã, Cavalcante, Agrovila, Nazaré, and Terra Caída. Data were collected through semi-structured questionnaires, from June to October 2019. Thirty-two hunters older than 18 were interviewed: 31 males and one female. Ten species were recorded: seven mammals, two birds, and one reptile. In relation to mammals, the species with the highest number of citations was Cuniculus paca, which was also the most cited hunting species among the three classes. The hunters’ preference for mammals is related to the availability and volume (quantity) of meat. These species have a long life cycle, with low demographic densities and relatively low reproductive capacities, making them more sensitive to unrestrained or irrational hunting. During the research, a reported decrease in abundance was recorded for eight of the ten species mentioned after the construction of the dam. The information collected in this study confirmed that the construction of the Santo Antônio HPP contributed directly to the decrease in abundance of target species, impairing subsistence hunting in the evaluated communities.


Interviews. Rondônia. Cuniculus paca. Human ecology. Traditional knowledge.

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