Sciences au sud - IRD periodical
- Another step towards domestication of the Amazonian giant fish
The Amazon and its tributaries harbour nearly one-tenth of the world’s biodiversity of freshwater fish. Among the 2500 species recorded, Arapaima gigas is one of the most emblematic.
In Brazil it is better known as the pirarucu, in Peru as the paiche, and is one of the largest species of freshwater fish. Some specimens can reach 4 m in length with a weight of 200 kg.
This graceful predator has become a victim of over-fishing, however, and figures on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
- Interview with Bernard Delay,
Bernard Delay chairs the Fondation pour la recherche sur la biodiversité, an institution set up in 2008 with the participation of eight scientific organizations including the IRD
Kyoto protocol : Satellite land-use snapshot
To fulfil the country’s engagements made under the Kyoto Protocol, in 2007 France had to provide national land use statistics, with particular focus on forest cover. French Guiana is of prime significance in this respect, with its 8 million hectares of forest. The short operating time available precluded a complete ground-level survey, therefore the only feasible operational solution was to use satellite imagery. The land use mosaic produced by IRD’s Space unit gave the first recorded coverage of the whole surface of Guiana, showing the forest and the areas cleared for agriculture or goldpanning. The resulting map and the methodology applied by the unit “Espace et l’Inventaire forestier national” were presented at the conference of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) held in December 2007 in Bali (Indonesia).