Biological monitoring programs provide data and information for decision making and to ensure the resources protection. However, in tropical ecosystems that are home to most of the planet’s biodiversity these programs need to be improved in design and implementation.
As part of the Environmental Management Plan "Environmental Impact Assessment for the 2D-3D Seismic Program and drilling of 22 exploratory wells in Kinteroni, Mapi and Mashira – Block 57" (Peru), we develop a Biological Monitoring Plan to keep track of potential biological changes (temporal and spatial scale) caused by the project activities to identify the need for corrective actions or to define new measures for unforeseen impacts. Temporarily, the activities of the monitoring plan depend on the stages of the project (construction, operation and closure), meanwhile they correspond spatially to factors that may cause effects on the flora and fauna.
Block 57 is located in the Amazon rain forest of southern Peru; this is an ecosystem with limited information. Seeking a scheme to support exploration activities, It has been designed a systematic biological monitoring program, based on a gradient of disturbance caused by the clarification of an area. This design is intended to identify the variables that are most sensitive to the effect of exploration activities in forests with similar features and comparable seasons.
The design is being implemented in exploratory platforms of Block 57 located in the buffer zones of the Ashaninka and Machiguenga Communal Reserves and Otishi National Park, covering the three stages of the drilling process, and evaluating spatially flora and arthropods to smaller scale (≤ 150 m from the edge of the deforested area) and birds, small mammals and reptiles at the mesoscale (≤ 600 m from the edge of the deforested area), in the area around the cleared area.
The information generated, besides determining the parameters used to assess the level of impacts on local wildlife generated during the drilling, helps to evaluate the effectiveness of appropriate sampling methodologies and optimizes logistics; looking forward to replicate this design in other tropical ecosystems.