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 Scientists team up on study to save endangered African penguins
16.11.2017 | Florida Atlantic University

nachricht Climate change: Urban trees are growing faster worldwide
13.11.2017 | Technische Universität München

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: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers at IST Austria define function of an enigmatic synaptic protein

22.11.2017 | Life Sciences

Fine felted nanotubes: CAU research team develops new composite material made of carbon nanotubes

22.11.2017 | Materials Sciences

Women and lung cancer – the role of sex hormones

22.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>