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Caspian Rapid Assessment Method: a localized procedure for assessment of wetlands at southern fringe of the Caspian Sea

Khorami Pour, S.; Monavari, S.M.; Riazi, B.; Khorasani, N.

Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 187(7): 420

2015


ISSN/ISBN: 1573-2959
PMID: 26059558
DOI: 10.1007/s10661-015-4552-0
Accession: 057363943

Although Iran is of founders of the Ramsar Convention, there is no comprehensive information available in the country on the status of wetlands in the past or at present. There is also no specific guideline for assessing the status of wetlands in the basin of the Caspian Sea as an ecosystem with unique ecological features. The main aim of this study was to develop a new procedure called "Caspian Rapid Assessment Method" (CRAM) for assessment of wetlands at southern fringe of the Caspian Sea. To this end, 16 rapid assessment methods analyzed by US EPA in 2003 were reviewed to provide an inventory of rapid assessment indices. Excluding less important indices, the inventory was short-listed based on Delphi panelists' consensus. The CRAM was developed with 6 main criteria and 12 sub-criteria. The modified method was used to assess three important wetlands of Anzali, Boojagh and Miyankaleh at the southern border of the Caspian Sea. According to the obtained results, the highest score of 60 was assigned to the Anzali Wetland. Obtaining the scores of 56 and 47, Miyankaleh and Boojagh wetlands were ranked in the next priorities, respectively. At final stage, the accuracy of CRAM prioritization values was confirmed using the Friedman test. All of the wetlands were classified into category II, which indicates destroyed wetlands with rehabilitation potentials. In recent years, serious threats have deteriorated the wetlands from class III (normal condition) to the class II.

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