World wetlands day learning pack
The World Wetlands Day occurs on February 2 every year. This environmental day was established by the United Nations to commemorate the signing of the International Convention on Wetlands, also called the Ramsar Convention in 1971 in Ramsar, Iran. Different activities and events are held around the world on this day to raise awareness about wetlands, a highly critical, threatened form of habitat.
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Types of wetlands
- 3 Wetlands around the world
- 4 Quiz 1
- 5 Biodiversity of the wetlands
- 6 Quiz 2
- 7 Activity 1: Make a wetland in your backyard!
- 8 Why are wetlands in danger?
- 9 Save our wetlands!
- 10 Activity 2: Write to your local newspaper
- 11 Videos and more fun stuff
- 12 Final Quiz
- 13 Further reading
- 14 Comments
- 15 References
- 16 Semantic tags
- Types of wetlands
- Wetlands around the world
- Quiz 1
- Biodiversity of the wetlands
- Quiz 2
- Activity 1: Make a wetland in your backyard!
- Why are wetlands in danger?
- Save our wetlands!
- Activity 2: Write to your local newspaper
- Videos and more fun stuff
- Final Quiz
- Further reading
Wetlands: One name, many definitions
Main article: Wetlands on Wikipedia
Ever seen a marsh or a swamp? If yes, then what you have seen is a wetland. Wetlands, as the name suggests, are patches of land that are really really wet. However, a patch of land that develops pools of water after a rain storm would not be considered a "wetland" though the land is wet. Wetlands have unique characteristics: they are generally distinguished from other water bodies or landforms based on:
Specifically, wetlands are characterized as having a water table that stands at or near the land surface either permanently or seasonally for a long enough period each year to support aquatic plants. A concise definition is a community composed of hydric soil and hydrophytes.
Wetlands have also been described as ecotones, providing a transition between dry land and water bodies. Two scientists - Mitsch and Gosselink - who have written a scholarly book on Wetlands  write that
wetlands exist "...at the interface between truly terrestrial ecosystems and aquatic systems, making them inherently different from each other, yet highly dependent on both."
Wetlands harbor a whole lot of species and that is what makes them special. They are not as turbulent as rivers and seas and oceans nor as dry as the land. Hence, they provide perfect conditions for the survival of living creatures. We will learn more about the biodiversity of wetlands in a later section.
|Why are wetlands important?|
| Wetlands can be made of freshwater, brackish water or saltwater. Based on where they lie and the nature of the land, wetlands can be classified into the following types:
Some of these wetlands are seasonal - they are created during monsoon seasons or during flooding. Others are found all year round.
How many marshes and swamps do you think are there around our planet? There must surely be hundreds of thousands of small and big swamps. Like the marshlands around Mumbai. Or the marshlands near the coasts of River Ganga. However, according to the International Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, there are 1950 wetlands of international importance covering around 1,900,000 sq.km.. One of the world's largest natural wetlands is the Pantanal, which straddles Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay in South America. Wetlands lie on all continents of the world except Antarctica. Most of the world's natural wetlands are present in tropical regions.
Wetlands in India
India is a sub-tropical country rich in water. We get water from the monsoons and water from the Himalayan glaciers. India has huge rivers like the Ganga, Brahmaputra, Narmada and the Cauvery. Most of India's wetlands are straddled in the regions covered by these rivers. Some of the biggest wetlands in India include the Chilka lake in Orissa.
- Build your own wetland For making larger wetlands that can last decades.
What you can do
|A documentary on the world's freshwater habitats|
- Why talk about river pollution? An activity sheet from Gobar Times (CSE India)
- Why talk about water? An activity sheet from Gobar Times (CSE India)
- Why talk about freshwater? An activity sheet from Gobar Times (CSE India)
- Wetlands Fact Series by US EPA
- Ramsar Convention Educational Resources for World Wetlands Day 2012
- US-EPA site on wetlands
- WWF-ENVIS document on wetlands of India
- World Wetland Day 2012
- ^ http://www.cvwd.net/water_glossary.htm
- ^ http://mapping2.orr.noaa.gov/portal/calcasieu/calc_html/resources/glossary.html
- ^ a b US EPA. Accessed Sep 25, 2011
- ^ http://www.alabamapower.com/hydro/glossary.asp
- ^ Wetlands - Third edition
- ^ Mitsch, William J.; James G. Gosselink (2007-08-24). Wetlands (4th ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0471699675.
- ^ a b Ramsar official website Accessed: July 20, 2011
- ^ Wetlands of India Accessed: Jan 6, 2011
- ^ WWF Pantanal program Accessed: Sep 25, 2011
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|Title||World wetlands day learning pack||Article is on this general topic||Learning pack||Author||Collaborative|
|Specific location(s) where study was conducted||Not noted||General region where study was conducted||Not noted||State where study was conducted||Pan-India|
|Institutional affiliation||Not noted||Institution located at||Not noted||Institution based around||Not noted|
|Species Group||Not noted||User ID||User:Not noted||Page creation date||2012/01/02|
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