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Title: Management of animal ecology and adaptation to climate change in the Iraqi marshlands
Authors: Fazaa, Nadheer Abood
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Climate change has become a global threat. Its impact on natural ecosystems, ecosystem services, infrastructure, livelihoods, and socio-economic systems requires rapid implementation of local adaptation strategies. Iraq’s natural ecosystems are already under pressure due to water scarcity. Climate change is expected to be an additional strong stressor on Iraq’s natural ecosystems. However, there is a clear lack of academic studies that evaluate Iraq’s vulnerability to climate change. This thesis presents an analysis of the potential impact of climate change on Iraq’s first protected area, the Mesopotamian Central Marsh (CM) as a case study. Exposure and vulnerability of the CM site and key taxonomic groups (birds and Soft-Shelled turtle Rafetus Euphraticus) were analysed to evaluate the potential impact of climate change and used to create suggestions for adaptation. The CM is highly exposed to predicted changes in summer temperature, but less exposed to predicted future rainfall changes. Our results also showed the highly vulnerability of the CM to climate change at the site level, suggesting that the Marsh Arab people (Ma’adan) and their water buffalo are the most vulnerable components in the site. In addition, resident, summer visitors, and breeding bird species were indicated as highly vulnerable to climate change. The results also highlighted the CM site as a hot spot area for breeding of the endangered species Rafetus Euphraticus with maximum population size of 212 - 283 individuals/141,615 ha. The CM currently suffering from water scarcity and salinity, and could be changed to a novel regime under the scenario of climate change impact. In this case, the estimated economic lost and damage in the CM could be 90,000.00 USD for the whole area of the 300,000-ha site according to the estimation of (Sukhdev et al., 2010) or could be 860,078.23 USD/40,000 ha according to our estimation.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

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