Many animals that live in other habitats use wetlands for migration or reproduction. emergent wetland vegetation, shrubs, or trees Special adaptations All birds have a job to do – they need to stay alive and reproduce. Constructed wetlands will play a much greater role in supporting wetland biodiversity. They accomplish this through adaptation. Wetlands help to counter balance the human effect on rivers by rejuvenating them and surrounding ecosystems. In this way, the birds help to maintain existing patches of healthy plant communities as wetland loss and fragmentation continues apace. Reptiles that use wetlands do so because they either live in water for much of their lives or rely on water for their survival. The UK has many nationally and internationally significant wetlands that support large numbers of birds, particularly those over-wintering in the UK. Why do I need a wetland bird survey? Wetlands will be more responsive to the natural processes which produce or support key habitats. They protect our shores from wave action, reduce the impacts of floods, absorb pollutants and improve water quality. In 50 years' time, freshwater wetlands will cover considerably larger areas than they do today and provide multiple benefits to people and society. The eastern water dragon lives in coastal waters, including marine wetlands. Native fish need wetlands too. Australia currently has 66 Ramsar wetlands listed as Birds and mammals might not live directly in the wetlands, but they depend on freshwater wetlands for food or reproduction. The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance was adopted in Iran 46 years ago, and 2 February is now celebrated globally as World Wetlands Day. They provide habitat for animals and plants and many contain a wide diversity of life, supporting plants and animals that are found nowhere else. Wetland plants are often referred to as hydrophytes because they are specially adapted to grow in saturated soils. Wetland birds are not only protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act (as amended) 1981 (and those similar acts applied in Wetlands are a critical part of our natural environment. For raising public awareness of environmental concerns, birds are also useful because they are ubiquitous through most habitats and their absence is conspicuous. The survival of threatened species such as the Australasian bittern, brown teal, fernbird, marsh crake and white heron relies on remnant wetlands. Dear EarthTalk: Why are wetlands so important to preserve?—Patricia Mancuso, Erie, Pa. Wetlands include swamps, marshes, bogs, riverbanks, mangroves, floodplains, rice … Many bird, insect, and other wildlife species are completely dependent on wetlands for critical stages in their life cycles, while many other species make use of wetlands for feeding, resting, or other life activities. Other animals, such as amphibians and reptiles, collectively known as herpetofauna, or “herps,” depend on wetlands for all or part of their life cycle, meaning that their survival is directly linked to the presence and condition of wetlands. Adaptation is a change in a bird's body or behavior that allows the bird to be more successful in life. For example, herons nest in large old trees, but need shallow areas in order to wade for fish and aquatic life. It is a good tree climber and likes to laze on branches overhanging the water. Wetlands occur in different environments around the world, but they all have one thing in common: they are extremely important habitats of rich biodiversity, and they have an important role to play in the lives of humans and animals alike. Wetlands support great concentrations of bird life and far more species than a similar forest area. 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