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Wetlands of Planet Earth

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Wetlands are characterized by presence of water either permanently or seasonally, mostly occurring as the transition zone between land and water ecosystem. Wetlands are found in all continents including Antarctica, recently Antarctica has been suspected of having the world’s largest wetland buried deep in under its ice sheets hundreds of meter deep. [1]

Wetlands have unique aquatic vegetation from those found on land and water ecosystem. Wetlands are formed at the juncture of river and lakes, oceans. Any piece of land that is either partly or completely covered with water are dubbed as Wetlands. 

Wetlands act as natural water filters and also help sequester carbon. They provide shelter to migratory birds. These pieces of land perform important functions to regulate the ecosystem, part of the reason why they should be conserved and not encroached and destroyed. 

Prominent wetlands of the planet:

  1. Camargue 

Source: Wikipedia

Camargue lies between the two arms of Rhone delta bordering the Mediterranean Sea, located south of France. IT was designated as “Wetlands of International Importance” by ramsar convention. The ecosystem sustains more than 4000 species of birds and has amazing looking white horses known by the name of Camargue horses. [3]

  1. Wasur National Park

Source: https://syr.us/V20

Wasur National Park lies in Papua Province of Indonesia. Due to its high biodiversity, it has acquired its alias as”Serengeti of Papua”. The park is part savanna and part swamp forest,part dune forest 

Some common fauna species include New Guinea crocodile and saltwater crocodile, Pesquet’s parrot, southern cassowary, blue crowned pigeon, greater bird-of-paradise, king bird-of-paradise, red bird-of-paradise. [4]

  1. Isimangaliso Wetland Park:

Source: https://kids.britannica.com/kids/assembly/view/184812

This wetland is also known as “Greater St. Lucia Park”, situated on the east coast of KwauZulu-Natal, South America.

The park has coral reefs and sandy beaches and also sun tropical dune forests, savannas, and wetlands. Cape buffalo, whales, dolphins, and marine turtles live in the wetland.

  1. Kerala Backwaters:

Source: https://syr.us/D43

A network of brackish lagoons and lakes parallel to the Arabian Sea Coast (Malabar Coast) of Kerala State in southern India. [6]  

Crabs, frogs and mudskippers, water birds such as terns, kingfishers, darters and cormorants, and animals such as otters and turtles live in and alongside the backwaters in Kerala. Palm trees, pandanus shrubs, various leafy plants and bushes grow alongside the Kerala backwaters, providing a green hue to the surrounding landscape

 Pantanal

Source: Wikipedia

Pantanal is the name of the world’s largest wetland area, with the planet’s largest flooded grassland.

The ecosystem is home to 463 birds, over 236 mammalian species, 141 reptiles and several amphibian species. Two extremely rare animals roaming the Pantanal are the marsh deer (Blastocerus dichotomous). Another endangered species, the hyacinth macaw (Chrysocyon brachyurous) too live there. [7]

Like every other resources of planet Earth, Wetlands too are being heavily exploited to cater to the ever-increasing needs of the Human Race. The matter in hand needs our attention immediately. Destruction of these natural ecosystems could prove detrimental to the whole nature due to interconnectedness nature of nature. As stated before, wetlands are excellent source of water filters of the global ecosystem. Thus we must curb activities that are detrimental to the environment and make sustainability our real focus.

References:

  1. https://scitechdaily.com/antarctica-is-home-to-the-worlds-largest-wetland/
  2. https://www.epa.gov/wetlands/why-are-wetlands-important
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camargue
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wasur_National_Park
  5. https://www.traveloompa.com/top-10-most-important-wetlands-in-the-world/
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerala_backwaters
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pantanal
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