Destruction of Ukrainian dam threatens nature reserves, rare species

Friday, June 9, 2023 - 15:57 in Earth & Climate

As emergency managers in southern Ukraine evacuate people there from disastrous flooding caused by this week’s mysterious breach of a major dam, conservation scientists are pondering the effects on the region’s plants and animals. The collapse of a section of the Kakhovka hydroelectric dam has released a torrent that is only beginning to subside, leaving downstream nature reserves underwater and vast mudflats emerging from an emptying reservoir. The dam has been occupied by Russian troops since soon after President Vladimir Putin launched the Ukraine invasion last year. On 6 June, in the middle of the night, Ukrainian and Russian soldiers on both sides of the Dnipro River heard explosions in its power plant. The reservoir’s 19 cubic kilometers of water—more than is currently stored behind the major dams of the Colorado River—began to spill through a breach in...

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