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The most obvious threat is dramatic deforestation. The construction of the Tucuruí dam, which lasted from 1975 to1984 (WCD 10), displaced as many as 35,000 forest colonists from their homes into surrounding territories. This displacement rapidly stimulated the deforestation in the area that we are now studying. Prior to the construction of the dam, the wildlife in the lower Tocantins basin was considered to be among the richest and most diversified in the world. It was estimated that 294 species of indigenous birds were also displaced (WCD 23), including:

Hyacinth Macaws
Green-winged Macaws Red-bellied Macaws

Chestnut-fronted Macaws

Scarlet Macaws Hawk-headed parrots
Vulturine parrots Short-tailed parrots White-eyed Conures
Peach-fronted Conures Painted Conures Golden-winged Conures
Golden Conures Green-rumped Parrotlets Blue-winged Parrotlets
Canary-winged Parakeets Tui Parakeets White-bellied Caiques
Blue-headed Pionus Dusky Pionus Festive Amazons
Orange-winged Amazons Mealy Amazons Kawall’s Amazons
Harpy Eagles    

One hundred and seventeen species of mammals were displaced, which included giant and river otters, jaguars, manatees, and at least seven species of primates. One hundred and twenty reptilian and amphibian species and uncountable fish species were also adversely affected by the construction of the dam (WCD 9). The resulting reservoir flooded 2,875 square kilometers of rain forest (WCD 22). Sixteen hundred islands were formed by existing hilltops once the area was flooded, which have all been heavily deforested (WCD 30).


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