Leinenkugel, P., C. Kuenzer, N. Oppelt and S. Dech (2013): Characterisation of land surface phenology and land cover based on moderate resolution satellite data in cloud prone areas – A novel product for the Mekong Basin. The first European to encounter the Mekong was the Portuguese Antonio de Faria in 1540. Laos lies almost entirely within the lower Mekong basin. The most species rich orders among the freshwater fish in the river basin are cypriniforms(377 species) … DOI: 10.1080/01431161.2014.890377. It’s not just tigers and giant catfish. New Agreement on Waterway Transportation between Vietnam and Cambodia, signed in Phnom Penh, 17 December 2009. water purification) benefits to people, supporting local economies and livelihoods across the basin. [57] China has been the driving force behind the demolition plan as it aims to expand trade in the area. [12], In a large river system like the Mekong, seasonal flows can be quite variable from year to year. Mekong River in Vietnam. For decades, Cambodia’s Mekong River population of Irawaddy dolphins has verged on extinction. Unlike the Friendship Bridges, it is not a border crossing. In: International Journal of Remote Sensing 35 (8), pp. Here we estimate fish biomass and biodiversity losses in numerous damming scenarios using a simple ecological model of fish migration. Other Countries Suffered a Drought", "Potential Disruption of Flood Dynamics in the Lower Mekong River Basin Due to Upstream Flow Regulation", "There are 8.3 billion tons of plastic in the world", "Almost all plastic in the ocean comes from just 10 rivers", "Dams and Climate Change Kill the Mekong", The WISDOM Project, a Water related Information System for the Mekong Delta, CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food-Mekong, Mekong Program on Water, Environment and Resilience, Countries of the Mekong River: The Greater Mekong Subregion, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mekong&oldid=997467576#River_modifications, Articles with dead external links from August 2018, Articles with permanently dead external links, Articles with dead external links from June 2017, Articles with dead external links from July 2017, Articles containing Chinese-language text, Articles containing Burmese-language text, Articles containing Vietnamese-language text, Articles containing Standard Tibetan-language text, Articles containing simplified Chinese-language text, Articles containing traditional Chinese-language text, Wikipedia articles needing page number citations from December 2015, Articles containing potentially dated statements from January 2020, All articles containing potentially dated statements, Articles with unsourced statements from February 2020, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Middle Stretches of the Mekong River north of, The section of the river flowing through deep gorges in. Here the mainstream begins to break up into an increasing number of branches. [3] When fisheries are discussed, catches are typically divided between the wild capture fishery (i.e., fish and other aquatic animals caught in their natural habitat), and aquaculture (fish reared under controlled conditions). They urge an immediate moratorium on new construction and a shift to solar and other forms of renewable energy, already highly competitive and faster to install.[69]. One campaign in particular that … [3] The volume of this trade is expected to increase by 8–11% per year. The two rivers, the Bassac to the west and the Mekong to the east, enter Vietnam shortly after this. The Mekong Conservation Heroes program is part of the Wonders of the Mekong project funded by USAID. [12], Reach 5: Kratie to Phnom Penh. In: Sustainability Science 8 (4), pp. The river holds three times more fish species per catchment unit area than the Amazon river, and hosts an estimated 1,000 fish species, including the Mekong giant catfish, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish. Therein lies the dilemma. Muntjac Kuenzer, C. and F. G. Renaud (2012): Climate Change and Environmental Change in River Deltas Globally. One campaign in particular that he takes special pride in involved the efforts to protect Cantor’s Giant Softshell Turtle, an endangered species inhabiting the Mekong River and the largest freshwater turtle in the world. National Geographic term it as the “world’s most productive river” due to its plethora of fish and its tendency to product array of “mega-fish” such as the giant catfish. By this stage, over 95% of the total flow has entered the Mekong system. Phnom Penh itself has no bridge under construction yet, although two new bridges have recently opened on the Tonle Sap, and the main bridge on the highway to Ho Chi Minh was duplicated in 2010. Their chief finding was that the Mekong had too many falls and rapids to ever be useful for navigation. The area of this tripoint is sometimes termed the Golden Triangle, although the term also refers to the much larger area of those three countries that was notorious as a drug producing region. The river's source was found by Pyotr Kuzmich Kozlov in 1900. Wild capture fisheries play the most important role in supporting livelihoods. Although the Mun–Chi basin drains 20% of the lower system, average annual runoff is only 250 mm. There is one bridge over the Mekong entirely within Laos. But really peculiar is here that the Tonle Sap , who is over months in the dry season feeding the Mekong, in monsoon turns into a sidearm of the Mekong, receiving water from the main stream. The population is ranked as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List, the highest international threat ranking for endangered species, and is restricted to a 180 km stretch of the mainstream Mekong River in Cambodia between Kratie and Khone Falls on the border with Laos. The main exports from Thailand are dried longan, fish oil, rubber products, and consumables. This lasted until the First and Second Indochina Wars expelled French from its former colony and defeated US-supported governments. Yellow-cheeked Crested Gibbon, Nomascus gabriellae. The Mekong Basin has one of the world's largest and most productive inland fisheries. The dry season contribution from Yunnan is much more significant. ► Find out about ongoing new species discoveries in the Greater Mekong The region is home to numerous endangered species, including the Indochinese tiger, the Asian elephant, the Irrawaddy dolphin, and the Mekong giant catfish. Once believed to have numbered in the thousands, the population began to … [6] In the Mekong River, the species is known at least as far north as Louang Phrabang in northern Laos. On the Khorat Plateau, which includes the Mun and Chi tributary systems, forest cover was reduced from 42% in 1961 to 13% in 1993. ): The Mekong Delta System. [55] The Lao Government is aiming to lift the nation out of poverty by making it "the battery of Asia". [23] Sediments deposited in the Tonle Sap Great Lake about this time (7.9–7.3 ka) also show indications of marine influence, suggesting a connection to the South China Sea. This reach includes the hydraulic complexities of the Cambodian floodplain, the Tonle Sap and the Great Lake. [3] The Mekong is still a wild river and navigation conditions vary greatly along its length. Sun bear Agreement between and among the Governments of the Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam for Facilitation of Cross border Transport of Goods and People, (amended at Yangon, Myanmar), signed in Vientiane, 26 November 1999. The Mekong is the fastest growing large river basin in the world in terms of hydropower construction. Phnom Penh also marks the beginning of the delta system of the Mekong River. Planned dams will block critical fish migration routes between the river's downstream floodplains and upstream tributaries. Runoff in the mainstream increases again with the entry from the left bank of the Se Kong from southern Laos and Se San and Sre Pok from Vietnam and Cambodia. Shifting cultivation is common in the uplands of northern Laos and is reported to account for as much as 27% of the total land under rice cultivation. Douc Langur The recent estimates showed that the biota of the Greater Mekong region’s species account for 20,000 plant, 430 mammal, … Estimates indicate that approximately 120 fish species are commercially traded, although the bulk of the fishery is based on 10-20 species. The mean annual flow entering the lower Mekong from China is equivalent to a relatively modest 450 mm depth of runoff. More giants inhabit this mighty river than any other on Earth. [3], As an international river, a number of agreements exist between the countries that share the Mekong to enable trade and passage between them. [18] In marked contrast, the tributary networks of the Salween, Yangtze, and particularly the Mekong, are complex with different sub-basins often exhibiting different, and distinct, drainage patterns. [59], On 4 February 2020, the Thai Cabinet voted to stop the project to blast and dredge 97 km of the river bed after Beijing failed to stump up the money for further surveys of the affected area. fisheries) and indirect (e.g. [11] It then turns east into the interior of Laos, flowing first east and then south for some 400 kilometres (250 mi) before meeting the border with Thailand again. Migration status is known for only 24% of those species, and of those, 87% are migratory . Flussname. From there it flows southwest and forms the border of Myanmar and Laos for about 100 kilometres (62 mi) until it arrives at the tripoint of Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand. Let’s find out some unique marine animals in this river. The difficulty of navigating the river has meant that it has divided, rather than united, the people who live near it. This Irrawaddy dolphin was photographed swimming in the Mekong ... Wild Asian elephants in Kuiburi National Park, Thailand. Then the Mekong meets the China–Myanmar border and flows about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) along that border until it reaches the tripoint of China, Myanmar and Laos. Besides being a danger for fishermen, unexploded ordnance also creates problems for bridge and irrigation systems construction. The Fourth Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge opened to traffic on 11 December 2013. The bridge opened for traffic on 11 December 2001. [3] [9] Although research projects are currently ongoing, relatively little is known about this species. Interdisciplinary Analyses of a River Delta. The Mekong River is the world’s second-most biodiverse river, after the Amazon River, with the largest freshwater fishery . The Greater Mekong has no fewer than 20,000 species of plants, 1,200 bird species, 800 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 430 mammal species. OAAs account for about 20% of the total Mekong catch. Khon Pi Long is a series of rapids along a 1.6-kilometre section of the Mekong River dividing Chiang Rai and Bokeo Province in Laos. Small changes in water level determine the direction of water movement, including the large-scale reversal of flow into and out of the Tonle Sap basin from the Mekong River. Here, it drops 4,500 metres (14,800 ft) before it enters the lower basin where the borders of Thailand, Laos, China, and Myanmar come together in the Golden Triangle. [43][44][48] In Laos alone, 71% of rural households (2.9 million people) rely on fisheries for either subsistence or additional cash income. [4] In Thai and Lao, Mae Nam ("Mother of Water[s]") is used for large rivers and Khong is the proper name referred to as "River Khong". In Yunnan Province in China, the river and its tributaries are confined by narrow, deep gorges. [3] Geomorphologic features normally associated with the alluvial stretches of mature rivers, such as meanders, oxbow lakes, cut-offs, and extensive floodplains are restricted to a short stretch of the mainstream around Vientiane and downstream of Kratie where the river develops alluvial channels that are free of control exerted by the underlying bedrock. The goal of the Mekong Conservation Heroes program is to shine a spotlight on inspiring individuals in the Lower Mekong Basin working to study, protect, or raise awareness about the Mekong River’s unique ecosystem, biodiversity, habitats, and cultural heritage. [12], Flows at Chiang Saen entering the lower basin from Yunnan make up about 15% of the wet season flow at Kratie. The bridge will be 691.6 meters long and have 8.5 meters wide two-lane motorway.[61]. For thousands of years the Mekong River has been an important conduit for people and goods between the many towns on its banks. Understanding the nature and timing of the elevation of Tibet (and the Central Highlands of Vietnam) therefore helps explain the provenance of sediment reaching the delta and the Tonle Sap Great Lake today. This extension has since been completed. Dordrecht: Springer, pp. The Mekong is really an eruption of wildlife. The Mekong rises as the Za Qu (Tibetan: .mw-parser-output .uchen{font-family:"BabelStone Tibetan Slim",Jomolhari,"Noto Sans Tibetan","Microsoft Himalaya",Kailash,"DDC Uchen","TCRC Youtso Unicode","Tibetan Machine Uni","Qomolangma-Uchen Sarchen","Qomolangma-Uchen Sarchung","Qomolangma-Uchen Suring","Qomolangma-Uchen Sutung","Qomolangma-Title","Qomolangma-Subtitle","DDC Rinzin","Qomolangma-Woodblock","Qomolangma-Dunhuang"}.mw-parser-output .ume{font-family:"Qomolangma-Betsu","Qomolangma-Chuyig","Qomolangma-Drutsa","Qomolangma-Edict","Qomolangma-Tsumachu","Qomolangma-Tsuring","Qomolangma-Tsutong","TibetanSambhotaYigchung","TibetanTsugRing","TibetanYigchung"}རྫ་ཆུ་, Wylie: rDza chu, ZYPY: Za qu; Chinese: 扎曲; pinyin: Zā Qū) and soon becomes known as the Lancang (simplified Chinese: 澜沧江; traditional Chinese: 瀾滄江; pinyin: Láncāng Jiāng, from the old name of Lao kingdom Lan Xang; the characters may also be literally understood as "turbulent green river"). The seasonal cycle of changing water levels at Phnom Penh results in the unique "flow reversal" of water into and out of the Great Lake via the Tonle Sap River. A carnivorous creature that feeds on fish, amphibians, reptiles and mammals, this crocodile lives in and around the Mekong River in small numbers. [43][44][48] They provide a principal form of income for numerous people and act as a safety net and coping strategy in times of poor agricultural harvests or other difficulties. A second time, the river leaves the border and flows east into Laos soon passing the city of Pakse. Asian elephant New species are still being discovered in the Greater Mekong. The total economic value of the fishery is between US$3.9 and US$7 billion a year. If that were not enough, the report’s foreword issues an unmistakable warning. Conservationists have found a nest of the endangered Asian giant softshell turtle on a Mekong River sandbar in northeastern Cambodia, while 115 new species … From 1893, the French extended their control of the river into Laos, establishing French Indochina by the first decade of the 20th century. Senior fishermen said they used to see big red arowana in the Mekong River but now this species is rarely seen. Glutinous rice, maize, and cassava are the principal crops. The protection of Irrawaddy dolphins is crucial not only for the species, but for the Mekong River at large, including an estimate of more than 1,100 species of fish, and other biological ecosystem. Many are super-sized. [51], It is estimated that 40 million rural people, more than two-thirds of the rural population in the lower Mekong basin, are engaged in the wild capture fishery. These mother vessels sail directly to Europe or the United States, which means that goods can be shipped internationally to and from Phnom Penh with only a single transshipment at Cai Mep. Furthermore, it points to the shocking decline in freshwater species, with the iconic Mekong giant catfish and population of Irrawaddy river dolphins among a dozen species on the critically endangered list – just one small step from extinction. There are only five species of river dolphins left in the world. Valbo-Jørgensen, J; Coates, D.; and Hortle, K. (2009). The Mekong River is the world’s second-most biodiverse river, after the Amazon River, with the largest freshwater fishery [3]. The upper basin makes up 24% of the total area and contributes 15–20% of the water that flows into the Mekong River. The first systematic European exploration began with the French Mekong Expedition led by Ernest Doudard de Lagrée and Francis Garnier, which ascended the river from its mouth to Yunnan between 1866 and 1868. The Mekong River has 877 identified freshwater fish species. Irrawaddy dolphin Here the mainstream divides into a complex and increasingly controlled and artificial system of branches and canals. These systems can be separated into two groups: tributaries that contribute to the major wet season flows, and tributaries that drain low relief regions of lower rainfall. In spite of poor fertility, however, agriculture is intensive. It is at Pakse in Champasak Province. [17], Typically, such patterns develop in basins with gentle slopes where the underlying geological structure is fairly homogenous and stable, exerting little or no control on river morphology. Mondulkiri Protected Forest and Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuary are ... A male dhole. Fisheries in the Mekong River are worth 2.5 billion USD per year to the countries of the Mekong. One fraction comes from melting snow in China and Tibet and the rest from over-season catchment storage in the lower basin. Agreement between China and Lao PDR on Freight and Passenger Transport along the Lancang–Mekong River, adopted in November 1994. Every year, 35–50% of this reach is flooded during the rainy season. In: Remote Sensing of Environment 136, pp. These have to be approved by the four countries involved: China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand. Together, these rivers make up the largest hydrological sub-component of the lower basin. Only 14 have catchment areas that exceed 1,000 km2 (390 sq mi), yet the greatest amount of loss of forest cover in the entire river system per square kilometer has occurred in this region due to heavy unchecked demand for natural resources. Over 1300 new species have been catalogued since 1997. Threatened species in the Mekong River Ecoregion include mammals such as the iconic Irrawaddy dolphin and gigantic fish like Mekong giant catfish, giant carp, and giant freshwater stingray, all of which can exceed 200 kg in weight. The elevation of the Tibetan Plateau during the Tertiary period was an important factor in the genesis of the south-west monsoon,[20] which is the dominant climatic control influencing the hydrology of the Mekong Basin. [44][47][48] Fish are the cheapest source of animal protein in the region and any decline in the fishery is likely to significantly impact nutrition, especially among the poor. [31] The most species rich orders among the freshwater fish in the river basin are cypriniforms (377 species) and catfish (92 species). There is much current interest in biodiversity and the need to sustain it. Between 1973 and 2009, the Greater Mekong subregion (excluding China) lost about a third of its forest cover. Although the pattern of the annual hydrograph is fairly predictable, its magnitude is not. [62] It links Chiang Rai Province, Thailand with Ban Houayxay, Laos. The Mekong River provides water, food and energy security for a population of about 70 million people, for most of whom the staple diet is rice, fish, and other aquatic animals. Broadly, navigation of the river is divided between upper and lower Mekong, with the "upper" part of the river defined as the stretch north of the Khone Falls in southern Laos and the "lower" part as the stretch below these falls. The reserve protects the headwaters of, from north to south, the Yellow (Huang He), the Yangtze, and the Mekong Rivers. [3] Around The World Recommended for you In 2009, 145 species previously unknown to science were described from the region, including 29 fish species, two bird species, 10 reptiles, five mammals, 96 plants, and six amphibians. [12], As the Mekong enters Cambodia, over 95% of its flows have already joined the river. There are approximately 20,000 plant species, 850 fish species, 430 mammals, 800 reptiles and 1,200 species of bird. [12], There is little evidence from the last 45 years of data of any systematic changes in the hydrological regime of the Mekong. DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2013.05.004. ): The Mekong Delta System. It is the world’s third most diverse fish population, with 1,148 fish species, after the Amazon and Congo river basins. The protection of Irrawaddy dolphins is crucial not only for the species, but for the Mekong River at large, including an estimate of more than 1,100 species of fish, and other biological ecosystem. [32], New species are regularly described from the Mekong. [24] Although the hydraulic relationships between the Mekong and the Tonle Sap Great Lake systems during the Holocene are not well understood, it is clear that between 9,000 and 7,500 years ago the confluence of the Tonle Sap and the Mekong was in proximity to the South China Sea. Locals are blaming low water on the newly constructed Xayaburi Dam, as it enters its test phase prior to the start of commercial operation in October 2019. Interdisciplinary Analyses of a River Delta (= Springer Environmental Science and Engineering). The endangered Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis) occurs in small isolated pockets within the northern Cambodian and Laotian portions of the Mekong River. Die verschiedenen Völker entlang des Flusslaufs haben unterschiedliche Namen für den Mekong: Tibetisch: Dza Chu ( tib. Working to sustain the natural world for the benefit of people and nature. Drought linked to a major distinction in the hydrology of the basin in northern Laos ] although research are! 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