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Rivers are terrestrial flowing surface waters that drain well defined watersheds. A river typically has a geographic origin, termed its headwaters. In general, there are smaller rivers or streams that merge into the principal river of a given watershed; such influent streams are called tributaries of the principal river. Most rivers either discharge to a larger watercourse or flow into one of the seas of the world. In the less common circumstance, a river may terminate in an inland lake, with no outlet; this circumstance is called an endorheic basin. Rivers are home to a diversity of flora and fauna.

  • Columbia River Featured Article Columbia River Columbia River

    The Columbia River is the largest North American watercourse by volume that discharges to the Pacific Ocean. With headwaters at Columbia Lake, in Canadian British Columbia, the... More »

  • Ganges River dolphin Featured Article Ganges River dolphin Ganges River dolphin

    The Ganges River dolphin (scientific name: Platanista gangetica) is s freshwater cetacean closely related to the Indus river dolphin (Platanista minor). These two endangered... More »

  • U.S. Wild and Scenic Rivers Act Featured Article U.S. Wild and Scenic Rivers Act U.S. Wild and Scenic Rivers Act

    The U.S. Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968 attempted to provide federal protection to certain pristine rivers of the USA. Major issues posed by the Act involve potential... More »

  • Daugava River Featured Article Daugava River Daugava River

    The Daugava River drains portions of the countries of Latvia, Belarus, Estonia and Russia, prior to discharging to the Gulf of Riga. Also known as the West Dvina River, this... More »

  • Zambezi River Featured Article Zambezi River Zambezi River

    The Zambezi River, Africa's fourth largest after the Nile, Zaire and Niger rivers, exhibits a length of 2700 kilometers prior to discharge to the Indian Ocean in... More »

  • Yangtze River Featured Article Yangtze River Yangtze River

    The Yangtze River, Asia's longest watercourse at about 6300 kilometers, has a basin that holds approximately one third of the population of China. The headwaters of the... More »

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Nenjiang River grassland Last Updated on 2014-03-18 16:57:33 Nenjiang River grassland is an expansive low lying grassland drained by the Nenjiang and Songhua Rivers of China. The Nenjiang River originates among low hills that define China’s northeastern border with the Russian Far East. After winding through a series of valleys, the Nenjiang River flows down onto the Songhua-Nenjiang plain where flooded grasslands have historically provided important summer breeding habitat for a variety of migratory birds including six of the world’s fifteen crane species. The Red-crowned Crane, White-naped Crane, Siberian Crane and Demoiselle crane breed in this ecoregion, while the Common Crane and Hooded Crane stage here prior to migrating to their breeding habitat.  Overfishing and agricultural development threaten the bird populations of this species-rich ecoregion. Nenjiang River grassland is an expansive low lying grassland drained by... More »
Lower Kinabatangan-Segama Wetlands, Malaysia Last Updated on 2013-11-01 10:38:26 This article is written at a definitional level only. Authors wishing to improve this entry are inivited to expand the present treatment, which additions will be peer reviewed prior to publication of any expansion. The Lower Kinabatangan-Segama Wetlands was added to the Ramsar List of Wetlands of Internation Importance on October 28, 2008 (Ramsar Site # 1849).  The Lower Kinagatangan-Segama Wetlands are one of six Wetlands of International Importance in Malaysia. These wetlands are threatened by the expansion of oil palm plantations, especially in the upriver portion of the wetlands and tributary catchmentCatchment is the entire area of a hydrological drainage basin.. This 78.803 ha site is situated in Sabah (05°38’N 118°35’E)  in Sarawak, East Malaysia on the island of Borneo. This reserve contains coastal... More »
Indus River Delta-Arabian Sea mangroves Last Updated on 2013-10-17 23:48:27 The Indus River Delta-Arabian Sea mangroves ecoregion represents a mangrove habitat that is adapted to some of the most extreme temperatures and salinity conditions in the Indo-Pacific region. As a transition from the marine to freshwater and terrestrial systems, mangroves provide critical habitat for numerous species of fishes and crustaceans that are adapted to live among the tangled mass of pneumatophores, the roots that reach up from the muddy, anaerobic substrate to obrain the supply of oxygen for the mangrove trees. This ecoregion lies at the delta of the Indus River, which originates in the Tibetan Plateau and flows through the northwestern part of India and into the arid Thar Desert in Pakistan before finally emptying into the Arabian Sea. There are high salinity levels in the sloughs because of the high evaporation rates and the salts that are washed down by the river,... More »
Zambezian flooded grasslands Last Updated on 2013-09-30 18:10:32 Located within the miombo and mopane woodlands of the Central African Plateau, Zambezian flooded grasslands are an anomaly of productivity and abundance in a landscape characterized by nutrient poor soil and vegetation. Unlike the surrounding woodlands that generally support animals only in rather low densities, the wetlands and floodplains of this ecoregion provide habitats to sizeable faunal populations, since food and water are abundant throughout most of the year. Large populations of waterbirds gather during the rainy season and numerous herd animals and  carnivores  still frequent the landscape. However, in a climate of rapid population growth and increasing need for land and natural resources, this delicate ecoregion may face increasing threat. Several conservation measures are urgently required for the ongoing survival of these wetland ecosystems and their... More »
Amur River Last Updated on 2013-09-30 16:59:28 The Amur River, considered the Earth's tenth largest watercourse, has its headwaters in western Manchuria and mouth at the Strait of Tartary, which connects the Sea of Japan with the Okhotsk Sea. Much of its length defines the border between Russia and China. Although the generally level topography has made this basin vulnerable to heavy exploitation by agriculture, the region boasts many endemic species of fish, and its wetlands are important to a number of species of rare and endangered birds. The Amur River became contaminated by a massive toxic release on the Chinese side of the catchment basin in 2005, which effects still linger to the current time. Similarly there are extensive deposits of mercury in Amur River sediments, residual from the central planning poor management practises of the communist Soviet era. The length of the Amur River is 2825 kilometers, a river... More »