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The Marshlands of Southern Iraq

This report is the result of a comparative analysis of the Marshlands of Southern Iraq to six other wetlands in the world. The study was carried out as input for the nomination process of the Marshlands of Southern Iraq as a World Heritage Site. 

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Environmental and social impacts of oil palm cultivation on tropical peat

This report provides a review of available scientific information and published literature on impacts of using tropical peat for oil palm cultivation in Southeast Asia. It describes carbon flows and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from native and degraded forest and oil palm plantations on peat, as well as other environmental impacts and social and economic aspects of the cultivation of oil palm on peat. Based on the available literature, the report presents conclusions on the gaps in knowledge, uncertainties and confusion in existing datasets. 

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Workshop Report on Woodcock and Snipe

This volume is the Proceedings of the Seventh European Woodcock and Snipe Workshop organised by the Woodcock & Snipe Specialist Group of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and Wetlands International. This international meeting was held in May 2011 in Saint-Petersburg, Russia and attended by 50 participants from 11 countries.

It contains 27 papers and abstracts covering a wide range of topics on biology, monitoring and management, chiefly focusing on Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola) and Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago). 
 
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Challenges to the integration of wetlands into IWRM: The case of the Inner Niger Delta (Mali) and the Lobau Floodplain (Austria)

The authors recognize that wetlands are poorly integrated in river basin management. Governments that endorsed the Ramsar Convention recognise the importance of the wetlands in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) using the "critical path" approach but is not widely implemented.

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Surveillance of wild waterbirds for Avian Influenza viruses in Lithuania

This a new paper on avian influenza in wild birds in Lithuania that was recently published in Lithuanian Journal of Veterinary.

 

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Integrating human health into wetland management for the Inner Niger Delta, Mali

Livelihood and water-related diseases are strongly linked to wetland management. The majority of wetland stakeholders in the Inner Niger Delta, Mali considered human health and sanitation the most important criteria of a list of challenges and water-related pressures. Yet, a methodology to integrate health risks and opportunities into wetland management plans has previously not been proposed, despite the clear links and substantial real-life challenges. In this paper, a framework is presented to do this in data-poor context structured around the process to evaluate and prioritise the appropriateness of management options to improve human health.

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Investigating Avian Influenza Infection Hotspots in Old- World Shorebirds

In this study the authors, including our own Bouba Fofana of our Mali Office and Associate Expert Tim Dodman, looked for Avian Influenza Virus (AIV) hotspots associated with other shorebird species and/or with some of the larger congregation sites of shorebirds in the old world. They assembled and analysed a regionally extensive dataset of AIV prevalence from 69 shorebird species sampled in 25 countries across Africa and Western Eurasia. Despite this diverse and extensive coverage we did not detect any new shorebird AIV hotspots. Neither large shorebird congregation sites nor the ruddy turnstone were consistently associated with AIV hotspots.

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Eco-Virological Approach for Assessing the Role of Wild Birds in the Spread of Avian Influenza H5N1 along the Central Asian Flyway

A unique pattern of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 outbreaks has emerged along the Central Asia Flyway, where infection of wild birds has been reported with steady frequency since 2005. We assessed the potential for two hosts of HPAI H5N1, the bar-headed goose (Anser indicus) and ruddy shelduck (Tadorna tadorna), to act as agents for virus dispersal along this ‘thoroughfare’.

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Peatland biodiversity and climate change

It is shown that peatlands are characterized by specific biological diversity on the genetic, species, ecosystem, and landscape levels. They often present the best preserved areas, habitats, and shelters for biological species. Peatlands form a specific environment and play a significant part in the regulation of climate due to their participation in the water and carbon cycles. They are characterized by a wide range of biodiversity; spatial heterogeneity; and a particular structural and functional integrity, which is determined by the interrelations between excessive moisture, peatland vegetation, and peat. The scope of all the features mentioned presupposes a specific, often ambiguous, response of peatlands and their biodiversity to climate change.

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Methodical Recommendations on Integrated Water Resource Management, Wetland Biodiversity Conservation, Econet Development and Organic Agriculture

The book includes methodical recommendations on basin approach to integrated water resource management, establishment of protected areas, econet development and sustainable agriculture as well as recommendations how to fill a Ramsar Information Sheet. The book is targeted to national, regional, basin and local level authorities in the water, agriculture and environment sector as well as to environmental NGOs and farmers.

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Implementing telemetry on new species in remote areas

This article provides recommendations for implementing telemetry studies on waterfowl on the basis of our experience in a tracking study conducted in three countries of sub-Saharan Africa. The aim of the study was to document movements by duck species identified as priority candidates for the potential spread of avian influenza.

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Migratory movements of waterfowl in Central Asia and avian influenza emergence

In this study, historical data derived from over 80 years of bird ringing are combined with recent satellite tracking data to delineate migration routes, movement chronology and habitat use patterns of waterfowl in relation to H5N1 outbreak locations. Results confirm migratory linkage between breeding and moulting areas in northern Kazakhstan and southern Siberia, with nonbreeding areas in the Caspian, Black and eastern Mediterranean Sea basins, as well as with South Asia. 

 

 

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Low pathogenic avian influenza H5N2 virus in wild birds in Nigeria in Africa.

We monitored avian influenza in wild and domestic birds in two different regions in Nigeria to investigate the presence and persistence of avian influenza virus in African birds. We found low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) H5N2 viruses in three spur-winged geese (Plectropterus gambensis) in the Hadejia–Nguru wetlands. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that all of the genes, except the non-structural (NS) genes, of the LPAI H5N2 viruses were more closely related to genes recently found in wild and domestic birds in Europe.

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Flying over an infected landscape: distribution of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1 risk in South Asia and satellite tracking of wild waterfowl.

This study suggests that the continental-scale dynamics of HPAI H5N1 are structured as a number of persistence areas delineated by domestic ducks, connected by rare transmission through migratory waterfowl.

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Horizon scan of global conservation issues for 2011

This review describes outcomes of a 2010 horizon-scanning exercise building upon the first exercise conductedin 2009. The aim of both horizon scans was to identify emerging issues that could have substantial impacts on the conservation of biological diversity, and to do so sufficiently early to encourage policy-relevant, practical research onthose issues.

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Vegetation of the river Yamuna floodplain in the Delhi stretch, with reference to hydrological characteristics

The present study highlighted the importance of allocation of water for periodic inundation to maintain floodplain characteristics including aquatic/semi-aquatic vegetation cover as critical to the management of the river ecosystem. The current policy of water use focused entirely on human uses ignoring ecological requirements, and had clear adverse implications on the health of the river ecosystem.

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Civil procedure for researching benthic invertebrate animals inhabiting tidal flats in eastern Japan

In this paper, we describe our attempts to make quantitative research studies and precise identification of benthos species a civil procedure with a method that is not only simple but also semi-quantitative and analytical. From field tests and field practices, we propose the following method as the civil procedure. 

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Current and future CO2 emissions from drained peatlands in Southeast Asia

This is the first peer reviewed scientific article on the global carbon dioxide emissions due to peatsoil degradation and loss, with a focus on Southeast Asia. The article is based on the work for the report Peat-CO2 that presents the shocking figures about emissions due to drainage and fires in Southeast Asia.

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Integrating human health into wetland management

By Jan Cools a,b,*, Mori Diallo c, Eline Boelee d, Stefan Liersch e,
Dries Coertjens f, Veronique Vandenberghe g, Bakary Kone c

Livelihood and water-related diseases are strongly linked to wetland management. The majority of wetland stakeholders in the Inner Niger Delta, Mali considered human health and sanitation the most important criteria of a list of challenges and water-related pressures. Yet, a methodology to integrate health risks and opportunities into wetland management plans has previously not been proposed, despite the clear links and substantial real-life challenges. In this paper, a framework is presented to do this in data-poor context structured around the process to evaluate and prioritise the appropriateness of management options to improve human health.

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Outbreaks of highly pathogenic avian influenza in Europe: the risks associated with wild birds

The infection of wild birds by highly pathogenic strains of avian influenza (AI) virus was virtually unknown – apart from one instance of the disease appearing in common terns in South Africa in 1961 – before the Asian strain of highly pathogenic AI virus (AIV), H5N1, began to expand across the world. Outbreaks of clinical disease in Eurasia have resulted in visible mortality among populations of free-ranging wild birds in a multitude of species.

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