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 22 October 2018

Argentinian marshland at risk

Valenzuela Marsh, an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA), is under threat from dredging and forest clearance. The marsh is home to a number of internationally threatened species, but the recent commencement of dredging the Riachuelo river and the clearance of riverside forests poses a significant hazard to the wildlife of the area.
The reason given for dredging is to prevent flooding following heavy rains in the region last year which caused a significant rise in water levels. Valenzuela Marsh spreads out at the mouth of the Riachuelo river, in Corrientes Province just south of the Paraguayan border, and many people live along its banks. However, scientists have warned that any dredging would only be a short-term solution, lowering the water levels temporarily, and the removal of mangrove forests could in fact increase flooding in future years.
This would mean dredging would need to take place frequently in future years (possibly annually), costing more and damaging the environment further. Not only is the practice ineffective, but the destruction of the riverside forests will remove the natural regulation of water levels and purity in this section of the Riacheulo, while simultaneously lowering the water quality, and the fish and crustacean populations that live there.

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