Animals habiting in Iran’s Urmia Lake islands to be evacuated
Azerbaijan, Baku August 12 / Trend, N. Umid
All animals habiting in islands of Urmia Lake will be transferred to suitable habitats, general director of the Organization for Environmental Protection of the Iranian Province of West Azerbaijan Hassan AbbasNejad said, ISNA news agency reported.
"During last two months some 5 tons of forage and 50,000 liters of water have been transferred to Urmia Lake islands," he said, adding that the organization is reviewing suitable replacement habitats for wildlife of the islands.
He also remarked that uncontrolled usage of water is the main factor in Urmia Lake drying up problem.
He emphasized importance of saving Urmia Lake, and said that continuing current situation imposes serious problems for people living alongside the lake.
In September 2011, the Iranian government has allocated $900 million to prevent shallowing of the lake.
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has allocated $135 million for Iran to address environmental issues of the shallowing Lake Urmia.
According to the official statistics, 70 percent of the water surface of Lake Urmia has been dried up. At present, each liter of water contains 400 grams of salt.
The area of Lake Urmia is about 6000 square kilometers. The lake drying up has an impact on the flora and fauna of the region.
Illegal use of water flowing into the lake for watering by the rural population, construction of dams and illegal objects on its banks, are among the problems contributing to the drying of the lake.