Wetlands are found all over the world. While many people perceive wetland as a piece of wasted land, it is plays a very important role in the ecosystem. In fact, it helps mankind in different ways and has been a home to thousands of endangered animals throughout the world. However, there is more to wetlands that what you normally know. Below are the 10 facts about wetlands that will totally surprise you.
Fact #1: World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on February 2. The date was agreed upon by the Ramsar Wetlands Convention which was signed in 1971, to remind people how important wetlands are to the ecology. The convention celebrated its 43th anniversary in 2014. At present the Ramsar sites take pride of its 474 acres of wetlands making it renowned as the Wetlands of International Importance.
Fact #2: There about 33 trillion gallons of water in the United States and majority of are attributed to wetlands. In fact, the sources of the water that we drink today are the ground waters that have been purified by wetlands.
Fact #3: Wetlands serve very important purpose in the balance of ecosystem. In fact no other technologies of man can stop natural calamities such as floods other than wetlands. Wetlands also stop soil erosion and help stabilize the flow of water in rivers and streams. Believe it or not, but wetlands also help stimulate good weather patterns.
Fact #4: Wetlands are also few of the great places to spend some recreational activities such as camping, canoeing, and hiking. Some of the well-known wetlands in the world are the Pantanal in Brazil, Camargue in Southeastern France, Kakadu Wetlands in Australia, Everglades in Florida, and the Sundarbans in Bangladesh.
Fact #5: There are different types of animals that can be found in a wetland such as snakes, lizards, goannas, crocodiles, and platypus. Wetlands are also the home to a lot of migratory birds.
Fact #6: Wetlands are divided into three different types: inland wetlands, coastal wetlands, and man-made wetlands. One of the biggest man-made wetland is constructed in Europe called Wallasea in the Thames Estuary. The project will serve as home to 10, 000 migratory birds and fight the bad effects of flooding.
Fact #7: United States has the most number of wetlands reaching as many as 30 wetlands of international importance. One of it is the National Wildlife Refugees, which received a worldwide recognition for its unique biology and significance for the different types of species across the globe.
Fact #8: The $32 billion worth fishing revenue in the Unites States economy are highly attributed its vast number of wetlands. Fishes survive longer in wetlands because they contain more nutrients and aquatic food for fishes.
Fact #9: There are more than a hundred of terms in different countries throughout the world that are associated with wetlands. Some example include moor, fen, muskeg, vlei, bayou, pocosin, slough, mangal, and vernal pools. Remember that each wetland is unique to each other. You might find something in one wetland that is not found in the other.
Fact #10: More than 1/3 of the species listed under the Endangered Species Act pay homage in wetlands for survival. In 1986, there were 103 endangered plants recorded, 23% of them mostly depend on wetlands. In 1991, the number rose to 595 including fishes and other animal species. Some examples of endangered species in wetlands are the Santa Cruz Long-Toed Salamander, Chinese Egret, American Crocodile, West Indian Manatee, and White-winged Wood Duck. Some of the species that are listed as slightly endangered are the ospreys, red-shouldered hawks, piteated woodpecker, and the great blue heron.