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Developmental effects on a freshwater wetland sustainability, a case study of parishan wetland in Iran

Congress: 2008
Author(s): V. Jofreh, Graduate Student, Civil & Environmental Engineering Dept. Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran

Keyword(s): Parishan lake, Iran, wetland conservation, Enviornmental assessment.
AbstractDevelopmental effects on a freshwater wetland sustainability, a case study of parishan wetland in Iran N. Talebbeydokhti, PhD, Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran, V. Jofreh, Graduate Student, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran Introduction: Iranís wetlands are of tremendous national, regional and global significance. Without a doubt, the global biodiversity significance of Iranís wetlands remains unparalleled in the Middle East. It is equally clear, however, that this biological heritage is under increasingly serious threat. Lake Parishan is located at (29¬į31'N 51¬į48'E) at 850 m is a biosphere reserve and protected area. Lake Parishan, fed by permanent springs and seasonal watercourses, lies in an enclosed drainage basin in a broad valley and is brackish to saline, the salinity varying widely with the size of the lake. At maximum extent (c.4,000 ha), the lake is almost fresh. The wetland support a very diverse flora and fauna, and thus maintain the genetic and ecological diversity of the region. In winter, the lake holds over 20,000 waterfowl. Lake Parishan is an oligotrophic lake surrounded by eutrophic marshes. It also supports extensive beds of reeds, as well as halophytic vegetation. Large areas of the semi-arid steppe around Lake Parishan have been converted to wheat fields. Nearby mountainsides are still covered with forests of oak, while the lower slopes are partially covered with steppe forest of almonds, hawthorn and hackberry. Lake Parishan is under considerable threat from various sources. Some 20 hectares of marsh at the extreme northwest corner of Lake Parishan were drained for agriculture about 20 years ago. Elsewhere around this lake, wet meadows have been replaced by cultivated fields. A small area of fishponds was established on the plains to the west of the lake in the early 1980s, and it is reported that 3 species of carp have been introduced to the lake. There has been a considerable increase in fishing activities, and the widespread use of outboard motor boats instead of traditional reedboats has resulted in disturbance to the waterfowl populations. Poaching remains a problem, as well as the accidental killing of waterfowl in fishing nets. Objectives: The main objective of research in Parishan Lake is to raise the public and shareholders awareness in regards to protecting fragile environment and habitat of lake. Methods: Analytical as well as qualitative assessment of environmental impact assessment of parishan lake wetland has been performed through an extensive gathering of data and field sampling and laboratory analyses. Results: The primary results show that aquaculture and fisheries, disturbances to birds and agricultural and husbandry activities are the main sources of threat to the lake water environment and habitat within watershed boundaries. The main sources of aquatic pollution at Parishan Lake include: (i) erosion in upland areas surrounding the Lake, which is leading to increasing sedimentation of its southern, western and eastern portions; (ii) agro-chemical use. However, in neither case have these reached severe levels. Noise pollution has caused similar problems at Lake Parishan, where the widespread use of outboard motorboats by fishermen, as well as for transport and providing tours to visitors, has resulted in an increased level of disturbance to waterfowl populations. These motorboats are gradually replacing traditional reed boats.
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