10,000 hectares open to crime
Two Law Projects propose the creation of a Park-Road in Iguaçu; with it, at least 10 thousand hectares of Atlantic Forest should become susceptible to hunting, fishing and extraction of juçara palm hearts.
The survey was carried out using a statistical model. Most crimes occur near the edges of the roads that surround the park and also near rivers and flatter slopes. “We already know that these areas are the most susceptible to crimes, since traveling through the forest is difficult”, explains biologist Victor Mateus Prasniewski, a doctoral candidate in the Ecology and Biodiversity Conservation Program at the Federal University of Mato Grosso and the main article author.
With data obtained from different sources, such as the ICMBio inspection area and the rangers of the neighboring Iguazú National Park, in Argentina, the researchers overlapped the records made in the last decade of four types of crimes — camping, hunting, fishing and heart of palm extraction — on the eventual map of the region with the Estrada do Colono in operation, that is, with more accessible areas for criminals.
“All the scenarios we modeled demonstrate an increase in crime. If the road is reopened, an area of 10,000 hectares around it will be more susceptible to hunting, fishing and palm heart extraction”, warns Szinwelski. “Opening a road there is completely unfeasible. The vegetation has already completely regenerated and there are no grounds for reopening. We know that species will be impacted.”
According to the Unioeste professor, all small and medium-sized mammals would be more threatened. This includes not only the jaguar, but dozens of other species, including agoutis, pacas, deer, wild pigs, collared peccary, tapirs and puma. He also mentions the greater risk that birds would run from being hunted to supply illegal traffic, such as toucans, jacutingas and macucos.
In the case of fishing, for example, researchers predict that there will be a 10% increase in the susceptibility of crime in the region if the road is reopened. Heart of palm extraction would reach almost 15%.
“When you open a road, you facilitate access. PL 984/2019 proposes the creation of the road as a rural route, so it will have free access”, warns Prasniewski.