As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday, 4 January 2016

River ecosystems show 'incredible' initial recovery after dam removal

Fate of one songbird species indicates fast rebound

Date:December 28, 2015
Source:Ohio State University

A songbird species that flourishes on the salmon-rich side of dams in the western United States struggles when it tries to nest on the side closed off from the fish and the nutrients they leave behind.

But the songbird and the rest of the divided ecosystem rebounds, faster than some experts expected, when dams come down and rivers are allowed to resume their natural flow.

Two new studies led by Christopher Tonra, assistant professor of avian wildlife ecology at The Ohio State University, illustrate the stress dams impose on species that rely on salmon and the impact of dam removal on the well-being of that wildlife.

The areas previously depleted of salmon are on a fast track to recovery in a shorter time than he ever expected after the dam removal, Tonra said.

"It's exciting to be able to show a real positive outcome in conservation. We don't always get that," he said. "That these rivers can come back within our own generation is a really exciting thing."

During his time conducting the studies in Washington, Tonra watched reservoir beds that looked like moonscapes return to vibrant, rich habitat and cascades emerge where none had been, at least for the last century.

"Watching that happen was just incredible," he said.

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