Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ecologists call for renewed efforts to restore Iraq marshes

29.08.2006
Without adequate water, further funding and an improvement in the security situation, the continued ecological recovery of the Iraq marshes is in doubt, ecologists will tell the British Ecological Society's Annual Meeting next week.

Speaking at the BES's Annual Meeting at the University of Oxford from 5-7 September, Professor Curtis Richardson of Duke University will present the findings of the first detailed ecological analysis of the restoration status of the Iraq marshes.

According to Richardson: “Our recent field surveys have found a remarkable rate of native species reestablishment of macroinvertebrates, macrophytes, fish and birds in reflooded marshes. But the future availability of water for restoration is in question because of increasing urban and agricultural demands for water in Iraq, as well as in Turkey, Syria and Iran, suggesting only a portion of the former marshes can be restored. Landscape connectivity between marshes is also greatly reduced, causing concern about local species extinctions and lower diversity in isolated wetlands.”

The Iraq marshes - believed by some to be the biblical Garden of Eden - once covered an area twice that of the Florida Everglades and were famous for their biodiversity and cultural richness. According to a census conducted in the 1970s, the marshes were home to more than 80 bird species, including more than half the world's population of the rare marbled teal and more than 90% of the world's population of the Basrah reed warbler. Once important spawning and nursery grounds for coastal fish and penaeid shrimp, the area also served as a natural filter for waste and other pollutants in the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, and was home to thousands of Marsh Arabs.

During the 1980s and 1990s, Saddam Hussein's regime devastated the marshes by draining and burning them, at least in part to “punish” Marsh Arabs for their support of the Shi'a revolt following the first Gulf War.

Professor Richardson carried out field surveys in 2003 and 2004 and then helped train a local team of Iraqi scientists to continue monthly surveys of water quality and water flow, as well as monitoring of algae, insect, fish, bird and plant populations.

“Ecological surveys indicate that ecosystem restoration is taking place much faster in areas that have been reflooded than was predicted. This is due to the good quality and quantity of water now flowing down the Tigris and Euphrates due to several years of high snowmelt. Restoration of the Mesopotamian marshes is possible and in a much shorter time than earlier predicted provided the Ministries of Iraq can agree on a set minimum water allocation for the marshes that will sustain marsh ecosystem functions, especially during drought years,” Richardson says.

But he warns: “Support from US Agency for International Development (USAID) and other international agencies is limited and future funding will depend on Iraq’s government willingness to provide continued funds to restore the marshes. The current internal instability and lawlessness in the country greatly exacerbates the problem.”

Becky Allen | alfa
Further information:
http://www.britishecologicalsociety.org/

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Robot on demand: Mobile machining of aircraft components with high precision

06.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

A new dead zone in the Indian Ocean could impact future marine nutrient balance

06.12.2016 | Earth Sciences

Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

06.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>