Reports on the status of biodiversity in the Guianas

© Peter Grobben / WWF-Guianas

Nature conservation starts with a good understanding of what plant and wildlife populations need to be (most urgently) protected, how, and where. Throughout the years, WWF-Guianas has published groundbreaking scientific reports on the status of biodiversity in the Guianas.

These serve as the foundation for all the conservation work of WWF-Guianas, and are also of great value to other conservation stakeholders. In 2012, WWF-Guianas published the Living Guianas Report, based on the Living Planet Report (LPR) which WWF publishes worldwide every two years. Whereas the LPR covers the whole world, this Living Guianas Report focused on the unique biodiversity in the Guianas. It was the first time the importance of nature and wildlife in this ecoregion was scientifically assessed in a report for a larger audience.

For Guyana, three biodiversity assessments were published on understudied areas: the South Rupununi savannahs, Kaieteur-Upper Potaro, and the Upper Berbice region. Hundreds of species were uncovered, including dozens which were new to science or recorded for the first time, such as an iridescent blue tarantula in the rainforests of the upper Potaro area. These biodiversity surveys represented a collaborative partnership between government agencies and local government authorities, indigenous and other communities, students and faculty of the University of Guyana, and local and international scientists. The exchange allowed for a tremendous amount of capacity to be built, not only in field survey techniques but also data analysis, interpretation and scientific writing. In Suriname, notable surveys were on the impact of gold mining on forest cover and freshwater in the Guiana Shield, and the report on the medium and large terrestrial mammal species of Peperpot Nature Park, based on findings of twenty-one months of camera trapping. Another important survey supported by WWF-Guianas is marine turtle nesting monitoring. This gives insights into the trends of sea turtle populations in Suriname over many years.