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Rescooped by Jerry Xu from The Effect of Dams on Wildlife
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Rivers No More: The Environmental Effects of Large Dams

Rivers No More: The Environmental Effects of Large Dams | APES: the effect of dams on wildlife | Scoop.it

Dams destroy some of the best wetlands in the world in large swathes. While the lakes formed as a result benefit some fish populations, the majority of fish have evolved to living in rivers and are negatively affected. Simply said, dams hurt local wildlife as well as the land surrounding them.


Via Tori Baron and Celeste Cozzarelli
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Wetlands are vital parts of the environment, and are endangered every time a dam is built.

Wetlands are vital parts of the environment, and are endangered every time a dam is built. | APES: the effect of dams on wildlife | Scoop.it
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Why damming world's rivers is a tricky balancing act

Why damming world's rivers is a tricky balancing act | APES: the effect of dams on wildlife | Scoop.it
If we accept that controversial dams will continue to be built for economic benefit, how can we limit their damage on the environment?

 

Dams stop the flow of vital sediments as well as fish migrations. While the formation of reservoirs may benefit some bird species, the effect on wildlife is generally negative. Formation of reservoirs can drown plants, leading to nutrients being leeched into the water and killing the fish that live in it. Blocking the flow of water also kills wetlands, which are important to many ecosystems.


Via Seth Dixon
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Jose Sepulveda's comment, June 30, 2012 2:24 PM
It would be possible if only the whole ecosystem is managed so as to damp negative synergies and keep permanent monitoring over the river as a whole, from its origin to its final discharge into the sea.
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My scoop on dams

My scoop on dams | APES: the effect of dams on wildlife | Scoop.it

The planned Nuozhadu Dam on the Mekong River poses a number of threats to the wildlife and human population near it. Damming the longest river in China will put over 700 species of freshwater fish at risk. This pressure on the environment will hurt the ecosystem and the biodiversity of the river system in the long run.

 

The dam project will also affect the flow of silt throughout the region. This nutrient rich silt is essential to the wellbeing of the fish and the plants that are downstream, so the dam will also endanger the fisheries and the farmers that live nearby. There are already four other dams that have been built nearby, and those have already had a resounding effect on the hydrology of the river.

 

Furthermore over 60 million people rely on the Mekong River during the dry season. Many of those people live in countries south of China that the river runs through. The completed dam will generate 24,000 gigawatts of electricity a year, which will save nine million tons of coal annually, but at the expense of the organisms and the people who rely on the river.

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Dams may benefit birds in the short run, but will hurt in the long run because they decrease fish populations.

Dams may benefit birds in the short run, but will hurt in the long run because they decrease fish populations. | APES: the effect of dams on wildlife | Scoop.it
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Rescooped by Jerry Xu from APES: The Effect of Dams on Wildlife
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Number of dams in the U.S.

Number of dams in the U.S. | APES: the effect of dams on wildlife | Scoop.it

This graphic shows the extent of the proliferation of dams in the United States. While it does not show the changes over time, the dams in the U.S. have become more numerous as well as larger, leading to a greater effect on the environment.


Via Tiffany Yeh
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Dams: impacts on salmon and steelhead

The construction of dams blocks salmon and steelhead from reaching their spawning areas. Even when dams that are blocking access to these areas are demolished, the fish are still affected in that they no longer have the instinct to breed in those areas and have become adapted to living in a lake. The construction of fish ladders, which allows some fish to go through the dam, have lessened this problem although many larger fish are still unable to pass the dams and are killed in the fish ladders.

 

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