A recent surge in building dams in Pelotas and Uruguai Rivers in South Brazil poses a serious threat to the conservation of Crowned-Solitary Eagles. Pelotas River runs along the border of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina States in South Brazil. Over 6.000 hectares of pristine Araucária Forests were flooded recently after long and laborious legal battle against BAESA – company owner of the hydropower dam in Anita Garibaldi City.
Crowned-Solitary Eagles are endangered species in Brazil and nest in tall araucaria trees in the Pelotas River gorges. After the flooding of the pristine Araucaria forests along the river, eagles had their breeding habitats compressed by the resulting hydropower lake and Pines plantations in the upper slopes of the Pelotas River.
Recently we recorded 3-4 adult eagles in the area suggesting they are still there. These eagles use the forests along the Pelotas River to breed and rest and the nearby open lands to foraging.
Situation of this eagle is critical once there is another dam (Pai Quere) under process to get environmental license to be constructed. An active and efficient lobby by local and federal politicians is working hard to get environmental license to start Pai Quere Dam construction.
If Pai Querê Dam is approved to be build an large area of Araucaria mixed florets will be flooded putting more negative pressure on the conservation of the endangered Crowned-Solitary Eagle.