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Dr Fengzhi He & Dr Rebecca Tharme - Freshwater megafauna: diversity, status, and cultural importance

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Dr Fengzhi He & Dr Rebecca Tharme - Freshwater megafauna: diversity, status, and cultural importance

Megafauna species play important ecological roles. Owing to their intrinsic characteristics such as large habitat requirements, long lifespan, and late maturity they are particularly susceptible to extinction. Freshwater megafauna species, i.e. freshwater animals that can reach a body mass of 30 kg or more, are also vulnerable to anthropogenic impacts. There are intense and growing threats such as overexploitation, dam construction, habitat degradation, pollution, and biological invasions in diversity hotspots of freshwater megafauna including the Amazon, Congo, Mekong, and Ganges-Brahmaputra river basins. Consequently, half of all assessed species are considered as threatened on the IUCN Red List. Global populations of freshwater megafauna declined by 88% from 1970 to 2012. Their geographic distributions have also changed profoundly. In Europe, distribution ranges of 42% of all freshwater megafauna species have contracted by more than 40% of their historical distributions. Given that freshwater megafauna share similar threats with overall freshwater biodiversity and often have large area requirement, they hold the potential to function as flagship and umbrella species. In addition, many freshwater megafauna species have important cultural values to local communities. Hence, a megafauna-based approach could be a promising strategy to promote freshwater biodiversity conservation benefiting a broad range of co-occurring species.


    Date de réalisation : 20 Janvier 2021
    Durée du programme : 29 min
    Classification Dewey : Sociologie et anthropologie
    Catégorie : Conférences
    Niveau : Tous publics / hors niveau
    Disciplines : Sciences de la société
    Collections : LE STUDIUM Conferences, Managing riverscapes and flow regimes for biocultural diversity
    ficheLom : Voir la fiche LOM
    Langue : Anglais
    Mots-clés : river, environmental health
    Conditions d’utilisation / Copyright : LE STUDIUM


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