Eurasian Salt Marsh Grassland

Two areas on the Eurasian continent hold salt marsh grasslands, the Tigris-Euphrates alluvial salt marsh in Mesopotamia and the saline meadows of the Yellow Sea and Bohai Gulf on the eastern coast of China. The Tigris-Euphrates alluvial salt marshes exist in the current political boundaries of Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey. Between the years 1973 and 2000 85% of the 8,926 km2 (3,446 mi2) marsh area in Iraq was drained as a consequence of the Hussein Regime and extensive drainage for agricultural use. Efforts to restore the marshes were put into effect following the 2003 war in Iraq; however, political unrest and dike-dam projects along natural water sources are continuing to create restoration complications. The Yellow Sea and Bohai Gulf saline meadows exist in an area of China with the highest population density; in 1987 the province of Jiangsu recorded a density of 619 people per km2. Extensive tracts of saline meadow still persist, though pressures from commercial and industrial developments are an ongoing issue. Pollution from nearby oil fields are an additional threat to the saline meadows existence.