Endemic species of caves are in danger by Section 5 of the Mayan Train, expert alert
▲ More than 45 species of blind crustaceans and 54 of bats, among others, inhabit caves in the area where the Mayan Train will pass, says Roberto Rojo. In the picture, the cave angry beein Quintana Roo.Darkroom Photo
Fernando Camacho Servin
Newspaper La Jornada
Sunday April 10, 2022, p. 9
The construction of tracks, piles and other infrastructure works for the Mayan Train in Section 5 South – located between Playa del Carmen and Tulum – would affect hundreds of animal and plant species endemic to the caves and underground rivers in that area, in addition to that would imply a risk of collapse and derailment of the railway, due to the fragility and porosity of the soil in the region, warned biologist Roberto Rojo, a member of the Mayab Speleological Circle, AC.
The expert pointed out that the aforementioned tourism project could aggravate the environmental crisis that is already being experienced in Quintana Roo due to disorderly urban growth and pollution.
In interview with the dayhighlighted that the Yucatan peninsula is made up mostly of limestone, which is particularly fragile due to its porosity and the constant infiltration of water, and that it has only 15 or 20 centimeters of soil above the bedrock.
The system of underground rivers that exist in the region, particularly in the north of Quintana Roo, is the sustenance of one of the few well-preserved forests in Mexico, along with the Lacandona, Calakmul and Chimalapas, and represents the home to hundreds of endemic species.
These rivers are ecosystems by themselves, unique and extremely fragile. There we find more than 900 species of animals that depend directly or indirectly on the caves, including more than 45 species of blind crustaceans, two species of blind fish, a whole fauna of arthropods and 54 species of bats.Red detailed.
According to the speleologist, by changing the original layout of Section 5 South of federal highway 307 to about 5 kilometers inside the jungle, piloting and other works will have to be carried out that will affect the
irreversible the system of caves and underground rivers, generating a possible mass extinction.
The structural danger of the Mayan Train is real, because it will pass through vaults and limestone caves. There are scenarios that you cannot prospect, because if you put up a column and you do not see that there is a cave below, the risk of derailment is real and would affect not only the project, but also the passengers.he alerted.
According to Rojo, the engineers in charge of the work are aware of many of these risks, but in talks with locals and experts they have admitted that they cannot make changes to the route or suspend the works.
because they already have contracts and backing out would be very expensive.
Added to the above, he said, is the deforestation of at least 8.5 million trees and the emergence of some 13 more urban settlements around the train stations, in areas that are already in crisis due to pollution and disorderly growth.
The train could be the final blow for the ecosystems of Quintana Roostressed the expert.