Rivers carry the living impressions of civilisations that have settled on their banks since the dawn of time, are home for unique flora and fauna. How can we better understand and protect them? #Vigilife has launched the #30sentinelrivers program with #eDNA. A thread 1/n ImageImage
By building an international network of partners and sharing #eDNA know-how, #Vigilife is establishing long term #monitoring programs, which will become a precious tool for safeguarding freshwater biodiversity.
1. The #Amazon: born out of the drying up of an inland sea, I am one of the longest rivers in the world. Together with my tributaries, I contain nearly 20% of the #biodiversity of all the rivers on earth and play an essential role in the global water cycle. Image
2. The #Amur: a Siberian river, my source lies east of Lake Baikal and I flow east some 4,000 kilometres to the Sea of Okhotsk. My name means “Great River” or “Muddy River” depending on the regions through which I flow. More than 100 species of fish swim in my waters. Image
3. The #Colorado: my source is in the Rocky Mountains,
and I flow towards the Gulf of California in Mexico. I am famous for having carved out the American Grand Canyon, a job which took thousands of years. Image
4. The #Congo: the second biggest river in the world, I cover more than 4,700 kilometres before discharging into the Atlantic Ocean. With depths of up to 220 metres, I am the deepest river in the world home to a unique aquatic fauna including little known abyssal fish. Image
5. The #Danube: the second longest river in Europe, I flow through 19 countries and am the most international river in the world. I am also the richest European river in terms of biodiversity to which I have provided refuge since the last ice age. Image
6. The #Elbe: My name comes from the Latin Albis. I flow from the south of the Czech Republic to the north and then into Germany before reaching the North Sea. I have always been an important trade route, and I am also needed for agriculture and energy. Image
7. The #Yellowriver: the cradle of the civilisations of northern China, I am the second longest Chinese river. My name comes from the sediment I carry in quantities
and which gives me this dark colour. I sustain many species including endemic fish, but also suffer from pollution. Image
8. The #Ganges: considered as a living divinity by Hindus, I originate in the glaciers of the Himalayas and then join the Brahmaputra and the Meghna to form the largest delta in the world, a concentration of unique ecosystems and biodiversity. Image
9. The #Irrawaddi: the main waterway in Myanmar, my source lies on the border with China. I provide shelter to one species of freshwater shark and one species of freshwater dolphin, while my basin is home to one of the last remaining groups of Asian elephants and Bengal tigers. Image
10. The #Kinabatangan: I am one of the longest rivers on the island of Borneo in Malaysia. A heavy monsoon feeds me and I frequently overflow my banks, creating a flooded biodiverse forest over an area of more than 280,000 hectares protected by the Ramsar Convention. Image
11. The #Lena: Siberian, my source is near the Lake Baikal and I flow out into the Laptev Sea, at the edge of the Arctic Ocean, forming a wide delta. My drainage basin covers two million square kilometres of boreal forest and my vast delta hosts extraordinary biodiversity. Image
12. The #Magdalena: The biggest river in Colombia, I flow from the Andes to the Caribbean Sea. I provide shelter for a rich Amazonian fauna, much of which we know little about. Some 200 species of fish populate my waters and more than half of them are only found in my basin. Image
13. The #Maroni: forming the boundary between French Guiana and Suriname, my name refers to the former slaves who settled along my banks. Today, I provide a home for many ethnicities and boast a huge and rare
biological diversity. Image
14. The #Mekong: I originate in China, in the Himalayas, and then provide a border between Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, before flowing through Cambodia and Vietnam. I host a unique biodiversity that includes a freshwater dolphin and a giant catfish. Image
15. The #Mississippi: the third longest river in the world, my watershed covers 41% of the United States. I am an essential American trade route, transporting more than 500 million tonnes of goods each year. I also irrigate cereal crops and supply towns and industries with water. Image
16. The #MurrayDarling: stretching over more than a million square kilometres, my watershed covers 14% of Australia and is home to 90% of the population of this continent-country. Flowing through an arid climate, my water is sought after for farming needs and to supply towns. Image
17. The #BlueNile: the cradle of Egyptian civilisation, I am the eastern branch of the Nile and provide most of its water flow. They call me the “Blue Nile” because of the silt that gives me this particularly dark colour. Image
18. The #Parana: I flow through almost half of South America before reaching the Atlantic Ocean. I contain the famous Iguaçu Falls and Pantanal, one of the largest wetlands in the world and I am home to an exceptional diversity of flora and fauna. Image
19. The #Rhine: I am the backbone of Rhineland Europe, the most dynamic economic area in the European Union. I am one of the busiest waterways in the world, but many measures allow to restore my natural environment and the return of species. Image
20. The #Rhone: I originate in Switzerland, pass through Lake Geneva, and then follow the Alps down to the Mediterranean Sea. Tamed from the 19th
century with the construction of dykes, and hydroelectric dams, I continue to be of use to local economies and for biodiversity. Image
21. The #RioGrande: a natural border between the United States and Mexico, I originate in the Rocky Mountains and travel through arid regions, which explains my very weak flow. My status as a border and my precious water mean I am sometimes drawn into political struggles. Image
22. The #SaintLaurent: a border river between the United States and Canada, together with the Great Lakes through which I flow, I represent more than 25% of global freshwater reserves. A major gateway to the North American continent, I have been adapted for the purposes of trade. Image
23. The #Salween: my course takes me through Tibet, China, Myanmar and Thailand, which makes me the second longest river in South-East Asia. I have been left near untouched by humans and I host an extraordinary biodiversity and am classed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Image
24. The #Senegal: I spring from the Fouta Djallon highlands in Guinea before bringing water to Mali, Mauritania and Senegal. My fishing waters are absolutely essential to those who live in my basin and I am managed by the Senegal River Basin Development
Authority. Image
25. The #Tagus: the longest river on the Iberian Peninsula, I run from Madrid to Lisbon. I supply towns with drinking water and electricity, and I am over-exploited for intensive farming. My regime is typically Mediterranean, with violent winter surges now controlled by dams. Image
26. The #Volga: a fine example of a slow river, my source lies at just 280 metres above sea level, between Moscow and Saint Petersburg before flowing out into the Caspian Sea, 27 metres below sea level. My watershed covers more than a third of the surface area of European Russia. Image
27. The #Whanganui: I am the third longest river in New Zealand and have great spiritual importance for the Maori. My country gave me a legal status in March 2017. Flowing down the slopes of an active volcano, I am turbulent with 200 waterfalls and many endemic fish species. Image
28. The #Yangtze: the longest river in Asia, I originate in the glaciers of the Himalayas, tear through Tibet, through China from west to east, and I am swollen by over 700 tributaries before I reach the China Sea. I host many species including the emblematic Chinese sturgeon. Image
29. The #Yukon: My source lies in a glacier in the Canadian west, and I flow through British Colombia and Alaska before emptying into the Bering Sea. I am home to great populations of salmon, which travel upstream to their breeding grounds. Image
30. The #Zambezi: I am the largest river in Eastern Africa, and one of my tributaries draws from the famous Lake Malawi, which is home to more species of fish
than any other lake in the world. I myself boast 800 species of endemic fish and feed the majestic Victoria Falls. Image
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