Iraq: soon no site for birders?
Not many authorities talk about environmental impacts of a possible war in Iraq. A dossier, prepared by BirdLife International, highlights environmental impacts.
Based on the unprecedented environmental damage caused by the 1990-1991 Gulf War and available data on the environmental effects of recent conflicts in Yugoslavia and Afghanistan [2,3], BirdLife has identified seven risks to the environment and biodiversity – and as a consequence also to local people – posed by war: 1. Physical destruction and disturbance of natural habitats of international importance and wildlife resulting from weapons use 2. Toxic pollution of natural habitats and wildlife resulting from oil spills or oil-well fires caused by fighting or deliberate damage 3. Radiological, chemical or bio-toxic contamination of natural habitats and wildlife resulting from the use of weapons of mass destruction and conventional bombing of military or industrial facilities 4. Physical destruction of natural habitats and wildlife resulting from increased human pressure caused by mass movements of refugees (ie, water pollution, use of wood as fuel, hunting of wildlife) 5. Burning of wetland and forest vegetation as a result of fighting or deliberate damage 6. Desertification exacerbated by military vehicles and weapons use 7. Extinction of endemic species or subspecies