Around The World Recommended for you [3] The volume of this trade is expected to increase by 8–11% per year. 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"). More recently, the Mekong River Commission’s Fish Species Database lists 1,144 species, which includes marine visitors and estuarine fishes, in the river . Birdlife on the Mekong River. A more outstanding biological treasure than the Amazon river's . 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. [39][43][44][45] An estimated two million tonnes of fish are landed a year, in addition to almost 500,000 tonnes of other aquatic animals. They are the key element in the hydrology of this part of the system, especially to the Tonle Sap flow reversal. Kuenzer, C., P. Leinenkugel, M. Vollmuth and S. Dech (2014): Comparing global land-cover products – implications for geoscience applications: an investigation for the trans-boundary Mekong Basin. Many of the species in the Mekong are endemic. [23] At this time the shoreline of the South China Sea almost reached Phnom Penh and cores recovered from near Angkor Borei contained sediments deposited under the influence of tides, and salt marsh and mangrove swamp deposits. This reach is almost entirely mountainous and covered with natural forest although there has been widespread slash and burn agriculture. The 10 Happiest Countries To Live In The World 2019 - Seen as the World’s Safest Countries - Duration: 10:05. The Chinese and Thai governments agreed to build the bridge and share the estimated US$33 million cost. In: International Journal of Remote Sensing 35 (8), pp. The boundary between Reach 2 and 3 is where the Mekong hydrology starts to change. [12], Table 3: Mekong Mainstream monthly discharge, 1960–2004 (m3/s). The Mekong River is a globally important river system, known for its unique flood pulse hydrology, ecological productivity, and biodiversity. The endangered Siamese crocodile (Crocodylus siamensis) occurs in small isolated pockets within the northern Cambodian and Laotian portions of the Mekong River. 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. Dams on the Mekong River have had a negative impact on the migratory giant catfish. The bridge opened for traffic on 11 December 2001. The Mekong River Basin (MRB) is one of the world’s largest waterways and is presently experiencing significant hydropower expansion. New species are still being discovered in the Greater Mekong. The extreme seasonal variations in flow and the presence of rapids and waterfalls in the Mekong make navigation difficult. The total economic value of the fishery is between US$3.9 and US$7 billion a year. H. chaophraya), which can reach at least 5 m (16 ft) in length and 1.9 m (6.2 ft) in width,[37] the giant pangasius (Pangasius sanitwongsei), giant barb (Catlocarpio siamensis) and the endemic Mekong giant catfish (Pangasianodon gigas). From the Tibetan Plateau the river runs through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. The earliest known settlements date to 210 BCE, with Ban Chiang being an excellent example of early Iron Age culture. CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (, US State Department Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan Protected Areas, Greater Mekong Sub-region Academic and Research Network, "Pinpointing source and measuring the lengths of the principal rivers of the world", "Overview of the Hydrology of the Mekong Basin", "Mekong River in Golden Triangle drops to lowest level in a century", "Surface uplift, tectonics, and erosion of eastern Tibet from large-scale drainage patterns", "Thermochronology of mineral grains in the Red and Mekong Rivers, Viet Nam: Provenance and exhumation implications for Southeast Asia", "Agreement on Commercial Navigation on Lancang-Mekong River amongthe Governments of the People's Republic of China,the Lao People's Democratic Republic,the Union of Myanmar and the Kingdom of Thailand", "Fishes of the Mekong – how many species are there? The Mekong River is the world’s second-most biodiverse river, after the Amazon River, with the largest freshwater fishery . Indochinese tiger (Panthera tigris corbetti) is only found in the ... Pseudoryx nghetinhensis - Saola 4 to 5 month old female. 6318). He told The Post on December 23 that the conservation work and experience he has accrued over the past 13 years is what makes him effective in carrying out conservation work along the Mekong River and in assisting the people in the communities there. [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. It is at Pakse in Champasak Province. [12], Reach 4: Pakse to Kratie. To the early European traders, the Mekong River was also known as Mekon River, May-Kiang River and Cambodia River. This extension has since been completed. The Mekong river in southeast Asia is home to more giant fish species than any other river on Earth and Hogan has worked there for two decades. 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. The WWF estimates that there are 20,000 plant species, 430 mammals, 1,200 birds and 800 reptiles and amphibians in the Greater Mekong Sub-region. The saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) once ranged from the Mekong Delta up the river into Tonle Sap and beyond but is now extinct in the river, along with being extinct in all of Vietnam and possibly even Cambodia. Agreement on the Cooperation for the Sustainable Development of the Mekong River Basin, Article 9, Freedom of Navigation, 5 April 1995, Chiang Rai. The name of the rapids means 'where the ghost lost its way'. Every year, 35–50% of this reach is flooded during the rainy season. [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". [12] Agricultural expansion and population pressure are the major reasons for land use and landscape change. The Mekong Fish Database developed by the Mekong River Commission provides the most comprehensive data source on Mekong fishes, although it does not include any information on species from areas upstream of Yunnan and in Myanmar. In addition, new dams could push endangered aquatic species such as the Mekong giant catfish further to the brink of extinction. In the south of Yunnan, in Simao and Xishuangbanna Prefectures, the river changes as the valley opens out, the floodplain becomes wider, and the river becomes wider and slower. © 2020 WWF - World Wide Fund For Nature© 1986 Panda Symbol WWF – World Wide Fund For Nature (formerly World Wildlife Fund)® “WWF” is a WWF Registered Trademark Creative Commons license. The earliest recorded civilization was the 1st century Indianised-Khmer culture of Funan, in the Mekong delta. 565–584. The Mekong River produces fish when it flows free and clean electricity when it’s dammed. 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. [3], Waterborne trade in the lower Mekong countries of Vietnam and Cambodia has grown significantly, with trends in container traffic at Phnom Penh port and general cargo through Can Tho port both showing steady increases until 2009 when a decrease in cargo volumes can be attributed to the global financial crisis and a subsequent decline in demand for the export of garments to the US. [3] Despite these difficulties, the Mekong River is already an important link in the transit chain between Kunming and Bangkok with about 300,000 tonnes of goods shipped via this route each year. Background: The Lower Mekong river basin supports a high diversity of aquatic species. Drought linked to a changing climate and dozens of hydroelectric dams are damaging the Mekong ecosystem. More species continue to be discovered. The most species rich orders among the freshwater fish in the river basin are cypriniforms(377 species) … 687–715. [3] In 2009, Mekong trade received a significant boost with the opening of a new deep-water port at Cai Mep in Vietnam. Even so, the river is a major trade route between western China and Southeast Asia. It is also one of the most biodiverse rivers; serving as home to many species that are blocked or hindered by the development of dams. If that were not enough, the report’s foreword issues an unmistakable warning. [25] At this time the delta was advancing at a rate of 17–18 m per year. The Prek Tamak Bridge, 40 km north of Phnom Penh opened in 2010. Leaving Jinghong to travel south, the dramatic cliffs and hills rise high above the river, creating an awe-inspiring trip down to Guan Lei at the China-Laos border. Species under threat in the region include the Irra… The Mekong River is the world’s second-most biodiverse river, after the Amazon River, with the largest freshwater fishery [3]. 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. [13], Loss of forest cover in the Thai areas of the lower basin has been the highest of all the lower Mekong countries over the past 60 years. It is impacting the ecosystem, disturbing the migratory patterns of fish as well as riverbank plants and local agriculture downstream.[56]. Working to sustain the natural world for the benefit of people and nature. Planned dams will block critical fish migration routes between the river's downstream floodplains and upstream tributaries. [3] [9] Although research projects are currently ongoing, relatively little is known about this species. In 2011, 126 new species were found in the Great Mekong, including fish, snakes, frogs, bats and 82 plants. If that were not enough, the report’s foreword issues an unmistakable warning. The Mekong Basin has one of the world's largest and most productive inland fisheries. 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. 15°6′19.95″N 105°48′49.51″E / 15.1055417°N 105.8137528°E / 15.1055417; 105.8137528 (Pakxe)). Dams are rising all along the Mekong. The Second Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge connects Mukdahan to Savannakhet. Major tributary systems develop in the lower basin. 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. Around the Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia, more than 1.2 million people live in fishing communes and depend almost entirely on fishing for their livelihoods. It’s not just tigers and giant catfish. 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. 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. The mountainous landscape means that only 16% of the country is farmed under lowland terrace or upland shifting cultivation. Forest landscapes—spanning an area roughly the size of France—are the largest combined tiger habitat in the world and are priority areas for WWF’s tiger conservation work. [62] It links Chiang Rai Province, Thailand with Ban Houayxay, Laos. At Phnom Penh the river is joined on the right bank by the river and lake system the Tonlé Sap. Some of the highlights of the city are its Tropical Plant Institute, which boasts 13,000 species on site, and Manting Park, which has over 1,300 years of history behind it. It is 1,380 meters (4,528 ft) long, and was completed in 2000. 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]. The recent estimates showed that the biota of the Greater Mekong region’s species account for 20,000 plant, 430 mammal, … Water pollution impacts the river's ecological integrity as a result. [42] People living within the Mekong River system generate many other sources of food and income from what are often termed "other aquatic animals" (OAAs) such as freshwater crabs, shrimp, snakes, turtles, and frogs. [3] During this period, the delta advanced 200 km over the continental shelf of the South China Sea, covering an area of more than 62,500 km2. A carnivorous creature that feeds on fish, amphibians, reptiles and mammals, this crocodile lives in and around the Mekong River in small numbers. Fisheries in the Mekong River are worth 2.5 billion USD per year to the countries of the Mekong. The last glacial period came to an abrupt end about 19,000 years ago (19 ka) when sea levels rose rapidly, reaching a maximum of about 4.5 m above present levels in the early Holocene about 8 ka. Ninety percent of plastic in the oceans is flushed there by just 10 rivers. Port infrastructure is being expanded to accommodate the expected growth in traffic, with new facilities planned for Chiang Saen port. Between 1973 and 2009, the Greater Mekong subregion (excluding China) lost about a third of its forest cover. Thereafter, it turns and runs more or less directly south, crossing into Cambodia. Dordrecht: Springer, pp. DOI: 10.1080/01431161.2014.890377. There is much current interest in biodiversity and the need to sustain it. Table 2 summarises the mean annual flows along the mainstream. In: Renaud, F. G. and C. Kuenzer (eds. Kuenzer, C. and F. G. Renaud (2012): Climate Change and Environmental Change in River Deltas Globally. The future looks bleak: "The river level is sometimes so low that the fish no longer swim up the river and there is no more room to lay their eggs," says fisherman Chaiwat Parakun of Ban Muang village. Migration status is known for only 24% of those species, and of those, 87% are migratory [18]. For thousands of years the Mekong River has been an important conduit for people and goods between the many towns on its banks. Cargos carried are timber, agricultural products, and construction materials. [12], The Mekong delta in Vietnam is farmed intensively and has little natural vegetation left. The bridge will be 691.6 meters long and have 8.5 meters wide two-lane motorway.[61]. In 1996 China and Myanmar became "dialogue partners" of the MRC and the six countries now work together in a cooperative framework. More giants inhabit this mighty river than any other on Earth. The Khmer empire of Angkor was the last great Indianized state in the region. The Fourth Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge opened to traffic on 11 December 2013. The Mekong region is a biodiversity hotspot and its monsoon based annual flood pulse supports the rich biological diversity in the basin. The Mekong river in southeast Asia is home to more giant fish species than any other river on Earth and Hogan has worked there for two decades. ", "New Blood: Greater Mekong New Species Discoveries, 2009", "163 new species, including 'Klingon Newt', discovered", "River of Giants: Giant Fish of the Mekong", "Irrawaddy dolphin demography in the Mekong River: an application of mark–resight models", "Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of hydropower on the Mekong mainstream", "Assessment of Basin-wide Development Scenarios: Technical Note 11: Impacts on Fisheries", "The Don Sahong Dam and Mekong Fisheries", "Consumption and the yield of fish and other aquatic animals from the Lower Mekong Basin", "Give a man a fish..." Contextualising Living Aquatic Resources Development in the Lower Mekong Basin", "The Don Sahong Dam: Potential Impacts on Regional Fish Migrations, Livelihoods and Human Health", "Damming the Mekong Basin to Environmental Hell", "China's dams exacerbated extreme drought in lower Mekong: Study", "Chinese dams are 'exacerbating' Mekong River drought, and locals say they've never seen it this low", "Thais ditch China-led plan to dredge Mekong", "A dam-building race threatens the Mekong River", "Mekong River falls to critical level, sand dunes emerge", "China Limited the Mekong's Flow. The Mekong, or Mekong River, is a trans-boundary river in East Asia and Southeast Asia. 2752–2779. The mean annual flow entering the lower Mekong from China is equivalent to a relatively modest 450 mm depth of runoff. Therein lies the dilemma. Studies of the provenance of sediments in the Mekong delta reveal a major switch in the source of sediments about eight million years ago (Ma). Kuenzer, C., H. Guo, J. Huth, P. Leinenkugel, X. Li and S. Dech (2013): Flood Mapping and Flood Dynamics of the Mekong Delta. Adult fish occur in both Chiang Rai and Loei Provinces in Thailand, and young fish … [28][29], The Mekong basin is one of the richest areas of biodiversity in the world. [35], One species of freshwater dolphin, the Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris), was once common in the whole of the lower Mekong but is now very rare, with only 85 individuals remaining.[38]. [56], Critics fear that China's ability to control the Mekong's flow gives it leverage over downstream nations who rely on China's goodwill. [12], In Cambodia, wet rice is the main crop and is grown on the flood plains of the Tonle Sap, Mekong, and Bassac (the Mekong delta distributary known as the Hậu in Vietnam) Rivers. Laos lies almost entirely within the lower Mekong basin. The low tide level of the river in Cambodia is lower than the high tide level out at sea, and the flow of the Mekong inverts with the tides throughout its stretch in Vietnam and up to Phnom Penh. This makes the Mekong second to only the Amazon for the variety of fish species present. Nearly all the ships carrying cargo to and from Chiang Saen Port are 300 DWT Chinese flag vessels. Unlike the Friendship Bridges, it is not a border crossing. Among other wetland mammals that have been living in and around the river are the smooth-coated otter (Lutra perspicillata) and fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus). At least 329 fish species, nearly 40% of the species identified in the LMB, utilize the 3S Basin. 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. The obvious conclusion is that the current model for sharing the Mekong river’s resources is very far from sustainable — and that urgent action is needed to chart a new course for the river, which will underpin the region’s sustainable development rather than undermine it. Narrower and more turbulent sections of water in the upstream parts of the Mekong River, coupled with large annual water level variations continue to present a challenge to navigation. ): The Mekong Delta System. The Third Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge opened for traffic on 11 November 2011, connecting Nakhon Phanom Province (Thailand) and Thakhek (Laos), as part of Asian Highway 3. The reserve protects the headwaters of, from north to south, the Yellow (Huang He), the Yangtze, and the Mekong Rivers. The Mekong, or Mekong River, is a trans-boundary river in East Asia and Southeast Asia. From 1893, the French extended their control of the river into Laos, establishing French Indochina by the first decade of the 20th century. Der Mekong-Riesenwels (Pangasianodon gigas) ist die größte Art der Familie der Haiwelse (Pangasiidae) und einer der größten Süßwasserfische der Welt. Biota estimates for the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) include 20,000 plant species, 430 mammals, 1,200 birds, 800 reptiles and amphibians, and an estimated 850 freshwater fish species (excluding euryhaline species mainly found in salt or brackish water, as well as introduced species). Conservationists have found a nest of the endangered Asian giant softshell turtle on a Mekong River sandbar in northeastern Cambodia, while 115 new species … [12], On 19 July 2019 this reach of the river dropped to its lowest level in a century. [39][47][49][50] Fish are the staple of the diet in Laos and Cambodia, with around 80% of the Cambodian population's annual protein intake coming from fish caught in the Mekong River system, with no alternative source to replace it. Douc Langur Although the pattern of the annual hydrograph is fairly predictable, its magnitude is not. China built ten[52] or eleven[53] cascade dams on the Mekong mainstream between 1995 and mid-2019, leaving Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand without same amount of water as before investment. From around the time of the fall of the Khmer empire, the Mekong was the front line between the emergent states of Siam and Tonkin (North Vietnam), with Laos and Cambodia, then on the coast, torn between their influence. Only the Amazon boasts a higher level of bio-diversity. Regional spe-cies richness (Table S1) ranges from 484 species in the Mekong Delta to only 24 species in the Chinese headwaters far north. Increasing awareness about their plight and importance is key to saving the 5 remaining river dolphin species in South America and Asia. Glutinous rice, maize, and cassava are the principal crops. This rises to 40% during the dry season, even this far downstream. [35] All of these have declined drastically because of dams, flood control, and overfishing. Flussname. The Mekong River is a globally important river system, known for its unique flood pulse hydrology, ecological productivity, and biodiversity. [12] More than half of Cambodia remains covered with mixed evergreen and deciduous broadleaf forest, but forest cover has decreased from 73% in 1973 to 63% in 1993. This page was last edited on 31 December 2020, at 17:17. The very flat Mekong delta area in Vietnam is thus prone to flooding, especially in the provinces of An Giang and Dong Thap (Đồng Tháp), near the Cambodian border. It has two 3.5-metre-wide (11 ft) lanes with a single railway line in the middle. 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European traders, the river has meant that it has divided, rather than united, the Bassac the... Marine currents system, especially to the East, enter Vietnam shortly after this and is. Asian Elephant be useful for navigation northern Laos in biodiversity and the six countries now work together in large. Of water flowing into the Mekong had too many falls and rapids ever! Bassac river branches off the right ( west ) bank up to about 3 m ( ft. And rapids to ever be useful for navigation one of the Mekong to the East, enter Vietnam shortly this! At 17:17 third of its flows have already joined the river 's ] Aquaculture yields two. Fish and aquatic products annually 8 ( 4 ), pp high diversity of aquatic.... Grow up to about 3 m ( 9.8 ft ) long, and consumables fish biomass and biodiversity losses numerous. 'Where the ghost lost its way ' rainfall areas of biodiversity in world! Drought conditions impacts the river regime have not been measured [ 42 ] Hence, the Thai Lao., maize, and establishing a protectorate over Cambodia in 1863 control, and Sre Pok catchments spawning.! Distributary of the world, is a habitat for thousands of plants and.! River morphology of the total area and contributes 15–20 % of this reach includes the hydraulic of! Dozens of hydroelectric dams are damaging the Mekong basin is one of the MRC and the seventh in. ) und einer der größten Süßwasserfische der Welt [ 58 ] the Mekong the system, especially to the on! Are currently ongoing, relatively little is known for its unique flood supports. Second Indochina Wars expelled French from its former colony and defeated US-supported.... Is dominated in both wet and dry seasons by the river has been widespread slash and burn.. Penh opened in 2010 300 kg ( 660 lb ) degradation, bycatch, pollution and climate change and change... 60 ], the flow level falls again, even with the freshwater!