Researchers report on the state of Iraq’s Mesopotamian marshes
While much of the world has focused on the war in Iraq, a group of wetland ecologists has been busy collecting data on the Mesopotamian marshes of southern Iraq. Formerly the largest wetland in Southwest Asia, the marshes are home to the native Ma’dan marsh dwellers, as well as numerous species of migrating waterfowl and game fish. Drainage of the wetlands as well as toxic contamination over the last twenty years devastated much of the marshlands. A mere 10 percent remain as viable wetlands.
After two years of study, Iraqi and other researchers will present their findings on the marshes’ current state, as well as offer their perspectives on hopes for wetland restoration during a special session held during the Ecological Society of America’s-INTECOL’s Joint Meeting. This marks the first time Iraqi ecologists have been to a western ecology meeting. It is also the first comprehensive data set on the status of the marshes collected by Iraqi scientists.
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