Animals living in the Artificial/Aquatic - Irrigated Land (includes irrigation channels) habitat

Irrigation has transformed the ecosystems of many arid lands. Initially diverting water sources and in some areas creating reservoirs for rainfall irrigation technology has become more effective. It can be debated whether irrigation is beneficial or damaging to local wildlife. Anyone observing a gathering of migrating waterfowl on an artificial wetland can be appreciative of the opportunity to see so many species in one place. Birds are attracted to the abundance of water and insect life such as mosquitoes that proliferate in artificially irrigated areas. Many mammals such as muskrats and other rodents are attracted to fish, crustaceans and mollusks that live in irrigation ditches and other man-made waterways. Not far behind is the coyote which among other predators exploits the concentration of available food. Because of their proximity to agriculture irrigated areas are often contaminated by pesticides and fertilizers. This endangers the animals that have made the waterways their homes. Also the seasonal water levels create a unique challenge for wildlife. The positive impact of artificially irrigated land inevitably depends on the management techniques employed. Ongoing research is being done to explore better uses of irrigation in arid areas to provide the maximum benefit to both wildlife and mankind.


Common otter
Hairy-nosed otter
Indian smooth-coated otter


African grass rat
Guinea multimammate mouse
Natal multimammate mouse
Pygmy mouse

Dugongs, manatees, and sea cows

African manatee

Read more at the list of biomes of the world...
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