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Biodiversity and Iraqi marshes

Firat universityenvironmental engineeringBy: Shaimaa Alsadawee

Content 1- introduction2- importance of biodiversity 3- threats that effect on biodiversity 4- Conservation of biodiversity5- what is mean by marsh? 6- types of marshes 7- Iraqi marshes 8- famous marshes in Iraq 9- Draining marshes 10- How to conservative the marshes?

Introduction Biodiversity is the variety of life. Identifying and understanding the relationships between all the life on Earth. It can be studied on many levels: Genetic , species , and ecosystem. At the highest level, you can look at all the different species on the entire Earth. On a much smaller scale, you can study biodiversity within a pond ecosystem or a neighborhood park.

-The term biodiversity was coined by WALTER G.ROSEN in 1985.

-Defined as the richness in variety and variability of a species of all living organism in a given habitat.

-It is the variability among living organisms from all sources including, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are a part.

- Researchers have estimated that thereare between 3 - 30 million species on Earth, with a few studies predicting that theremay beover 100 million species on Earth! Currently,we have identified only 1.7 million species,

3 Levels of BiodiversityEcosystem DiversitySpecies DiversityGenetic DiversityThe number and variety of ecosystems or habitats within a given region. The differences in DNA content among individuals within species and populations.The number and variety of species in the world or in a particular area.


Importance Of biodiversity-Biodiversity is an important part ofecological servicesthat make life livable on Earth. They include everything from cleaning water andabsorbing chemicals, which wetlands do,to providing oxygen for us .-It provides us with an array of foods and materials and it contributes to the economy. Without a diversity of pollinators, plants,and soils, our supermarkets would have a lot less produce.-Biodiversity allows for ecosystems to adjust disturbanceslike extreme fires and floods.-Genetic diversity preventsdiseasesand helps species adjust to changes in their environment.

Threats to biodiversity -Habitat Change, Destruction, and Fragmentationbreaking up the landscape, i.e.: rather than having one large forest, having lots of little forests-Invasive and Exotic SpeciesIntroducing species to places that they dont belongand then they take over an area and kick out other species.-Overharvesting, Hunting, PoachingCertain animals should not be hunted or like protected gorillas in Africa, but they arethis threatens their survival as a species.-Pollution (Including Global wormaing Climate Change)Water, air, and land pollution are making it difficult for sensitive species to survive.

Consrevation of BIODIVERSITY

-Preserving Genetic MaterialGermplasm any form of genetic material saved for future use. - Captive BreedingThe process of breeding and reintroducing species that are in danger. -Zoos, Aquariums, Parks, GardensOriginally used to display exotic animals and now they are more like used to highlight species in danger and to protect them. -Wildlife Corridors Areas that connect fragmented habitats. They enable isolated populations to breed once again. ex: Panthera Foundation (tigers in Southeast Asia), Operation Big Bird (birds in Australia)Saving Species One At A Time

- Natural Heritage Trust

- Wild life reserves- e.g. National Parks.

- Flora and Fauna guarantee act

- Endangered species Program

- Education

Legal Protection for Species-1973 Endangered Species Act (ESA)Administered by USFWS and NOAADesigned to protect plant and animal species in danger of extinction-IUCN International Union for the Conservation of Nature/Natural Resources. 200 government agencies and 700 private conservation organizations.It produces Red Lists including species in danger around the world. -CITES Convention on International Trade in Endangered SpeciesHelped stop the slaughtering of African Elephants . -World Wildlife Foundation One of the largest conservation organizations working to protect natural resources, endangered species, and supporting sustainable practices worldwide.

Species and taxonomyEach species is classified within a hierarchy reflecting evolutionary relationships.

Two related species might be in the same genus; two related genera in the same family, etc.

What is mean by Marsh?

A marsh is a wetland that is dominated by herbaceous rather than woody plant species. it can often be found at the edges of lakes and streams, where they form a transition between the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. They are often dominated by grasses, rushes or reeds. This form of vegetation is what differentiates marshes from other types of wetland such as swamps.

Biodiversity of marshes Marshes provide habitat for many types of plants, animals, and insects that have adapted to living in flooded conditions. Marsh plants tend to have rhizomes for underground storage and reproduction. examples include saw grass, aquatic animals, from fish to salamanders, are generally able to live with a low amount of oxygen in the water. Some can obtain oxygen from the air instead, while others can live indefinitely in conditions of low oxygen. Marshes have extremely high levels of biological production, some of the highest in the world, and therefore are important in supporting fisheries. Marshes also improve water quality by acting as a sink to filter pollutants and sediment from the water that flows through them. The pH in marshes tends to be neutral to alkaline, as opposed to bogs, where peat accumulates under more acid conditions.

Types of marshes -Salt marshes - freshwater marshes

- Playa lakes - Wet meadows

-Vernal pools - Prairie potholes

- Riverine wetlands

Iraqi Marshes

Mesopotamian Marshes The Mesopotamian Marshes or Iraqi Marshes are a wetland area located in southern Iraq and partially in southwestern Iran and Kuwait. are created by the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers system. Historically the marshlands, mainly composed of the separate but adjacent Central, Hawizeh and Hammar Marshes, used to be the largest wetland ecosystem. It is a rare aquatic landscape in the desert, providing habitat for the Marsh Arabs and important populations of wildlife.

-Marshlands has a positive impact on the environment, they are considered a good source to provide a lot of food from fish, birds and agricultural materials that depend on the availability and sustainability of water, such as rice and sugar cane- They use the kind of boats called Palmahov in movement and travels.

The origin of Iraqi marshes The Marsh Arabs are the primary inhabitants of the Mesopotamian Marshes and are the descendants of ancient Sumerians, as their civilization dates back 5000 years. They live in secluded villages of elaborate reed houses throughout the marshes, often only reached by boat. Fish, rice cultivation, water buffalo and other resources are also used in their daily lives. In the 1950s, there were an estimated 500,000 Marsh Arabs. This population shrank to about 20,000.

most famous marshes in Iraq

1- Chabaish marshes

Chabaish marshes are a group of the marshes east of Nasiriyah in Iraq is an extension of Abu zarag and Hmaar marsh . Chabaish feed marshlands of the Euphrates and the Tigris River, and where there are many types of birds such as Coracias Garrulus and chicken water, gulls. There are the types of fish and there are aquatic plants and plant reeds and papyrus.

2- central Marshes

Central Marshes are a group of marshes in Iraq between Nasiriyah and Basra. These marshes fed water mainly from the branches of the Tigris River branching The marsh covered with high density reeds which were sites for the cultivation of rice in the summer of 2004, remained the central middle part of the central marshes dry and re-immersing the outer surface of the Central Marshes water including return marsh and the southern marshes Chabaish invested to grow wheat.

3- Hammar Marshes

The Hammar Marshes is primarily fed by the Euphrates and lies eastern border of the Shatt al-Arab and southern of Basrah. In periods of flooding, water from the Central Marsh, fed by the Tigris. The population living near the marsh rely chiefly base their livelihood on fishing, raising cattle, buffalo and bird hunting

4- Hawizeh MarshesIraq is one of the marshlands located in the provinces of Maysan and Basra, and the province of Basra, which creates a natural reserve called the (net) are protected, bordered by Iran and the Middle hurt in Lahore Karkheh River from Iran, which has established the river Karkheh Dam for power generation and water storage.

Draining marshes

-The draining of Mesopotamian Marshes began in the 1950s with the Central Marshes and gradually accelerated as it affected the two other main marshes until early in the 21st century with the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The draining of the marshes was intended at first to largely due to dams, dykes and other diversion structures constructed into Iraq.

-Channelization, damming, water withdrawals, salinisation from agriculture, oil production activities, hunting, and drainage schemes have destroyed large parts of the wetland complex.

Much of the fighting during the prolonged Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) and bombings during t