An indicator of the ecological damage done by the Aral Sea disaster is the fate of species that made use of this lost ecosystem. In this paper, two water birds, the spoonbill (Platalea leucorogia L) and the black-crowned night heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) are discussed. Primary research by the author shows that both species adapted to changed conditions by extending into regions not previously within range and using human-formed rather than natural environments. The spoonbill has made extensive use of new ponds and lakes formed by rising water tables in the Bukhara region. The heron has taken advantage of urban and human occupied settings for expanded settlement. Both are thriving in new environments but their old range in the Aral region is no longer suitable for their survival.
Turaev, M. (2012), "Ecological Change in the Aral Region: Adaptations by the Spoonbill and Black-Crowned Night Heron", Edelstein, M., Cerny, A. and Gadaev, A. (Ed.) Disaster by Design: The Aral Sea and its Lessons for Sustainability (Research in Social Problems and Public Policy, Vol. 20), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 283-290. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0196-1152(2012)0000020029Download as .RIS
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