每日英語跟讀 Ep.K184: Northwest's Salmon Population May Be Running Out of Time
A Washington state report put it bluntly: Because of the devastating effects of climate change and deteriorating habitats, several species of salmon in the Pacific Northwest are “on the brink of extinction.”
Of the 14 species of salmon and steelhead trout in Washington state that have been deemed endangered and are protected under the Endangered Species Act, 10 are lagging recovery goals, and five are considered “in crisis,” according to the 2020 State of Salmon in Watersheds report.
“Time is running out,” said the report, which is produced every other year by the Washington state Recreation and Conservation Office. “The climate is changing, rivers are warming, habitat is diminishing, and the natural systems that support salmon in the Pacific Northwest need help now more than ever.”
Researchers say recovery efforts — involving state and federal agencies, Native American tribes, local conservation groups and others — have helped slow the decline of some salmon populations. The report found that two species — the Hood Canal summer chum and Snake River fall chinook — were approaching their recovery goals. It also noted that no new salmon species had been added to the endangered list since 2007.
“We are at least treading water,” said Kaleen Cottingham, director of the Washington state Recreation and Conservation Office. “We have not, however, seen the kind of progress that we had hoped for.”
With the effects of climate change expected to accelerate, researchers said that more must be done to prevent further population decline and the possible extinction of some species.
Salmon play a vital role in the environment, economy and culture of the Pacific Northwest. At least 138 species depend on salmon for their food in some way. Salmon support an estimated 16,000 jobs in the fishing industry, and they are a draw for tourists.
Before the 20th century, an estimated 10 million to 16 million adult salmon and steelhead trout returned annually to the Columbia River system. The current return of wild fish is 2% of that.
One of the largest factors inhibiting salmon recovery is habitat loss. A growing human population has led to development along the shoreline and the addition of bulkheads, or sea walls, that encroach on beaches where salmon generally find insects and other food. More pavement and hard surfaces have contributed to an increase in toxic stormwater runoff that pollutes Puget Sound.
阻礙鮭魚復育的最大原因之一為棲地喪失，不斷成長的人口導致海岸沿線的開發，加上隔板或海堤的增加，這些侵占了鮭魚平常尋找昆蟲及其他食物的海灘。更多的鋪裝路面和堅硬的地面導致有毒雨水流量的增加，進而汙染了普吉特海灣。Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/5238125