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Why are wetlands important?

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Wetlands are important because they provide habitat for thousands of species of aquatic and terrestrial plants and animals. Wetlands are valuable for flood protection, water quality improvement, shoreline erosion control, natural products, recreation, and aesthetics.

#Wetlands are transitional areas, sandwiched between permanently flooded deep-water environments and well-drained uplands. They include #mangroves, #marshes, #swamps, forested wetlands, bogs, wet prairies and vernal pools. In general terms, wetlands are lands where water saturation is the dominant factor determining the nature of soil and the types of plant and animal communities living in the soil and on its surface.

The single feature that most wetlands share is soil or substrate that is at least periodically saturated with or covered by water. Wetlands are among the most productive habitats on earth providing shelter and nursery areas for commercially and recreationally important animals like #fish and #shellfish, dragonflies as well as wintering grounds for migrating #birds. They also form natural reservoirs that help maintain desirable #water quality. The natural swampy wetland area at ICIMOD Knowledge Park is well preserved to demonstrate how we can enhance wetland biodiversity of both flora and fauna, as well as how we can manage springs in wetland areas for good quality water that can be used by people downstream for drinking and irrigation. The natural wetland area at the Knowledge Park is also used for educational purposes, where children can observe and identify wetland land species.

#Dragonflies are an important part of the wetland ecosystem which require water for their life cycle. They lay their eggs in the water or on surrounding aquatic plants. So far, more than 52 species of dragonflies have been identified in the swampy wetland area at our Knowledge Park in #Godavari.

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