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Hawizeh and Hammar Marshes, Iraq and Iran

31.1N 46.9E

June 1st, 2011 Category: Rivers, Wetlands

Iraq - May 23rd, 2011

Several of the bright green sections in the valley of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in Iraq are areas of marshlands.

The Hawizeh Marshes appear as a large, dark green, rounded area near the right edge, straddling the Iraq and Iran border. The marshes are fed by the Tigris River in Iraq and Karkheh River in Iran.

The Hawizeh marsh is critical to the survival of the Central and Hammar marshes, which also make up the Mesopotamian Marshes, because they are a refuge for species that may recolonize or reproduce into the other marshlands.

The Hammar Marshes can also be observed in Iraq to the southwest of the Hawizeh Marshes. They are part of the Tigris-Euphrates river system.

The Hammar Marshes formerly covered an area of 2,800 square kilometres of permanent wetland, extending to over 4,500 square kilometres in certain seasons, but were almost totally destroyed during the 1990s by drainage projects, and have only recently seen some recovery.

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