World Wetlands Day: wetland animals

World Wetlands Day is celebrated on 2 February annually. With 35% of the world’s wetlands having disappeared in the last 50 years, and nearly 90% degraded since the 1700s, the theme for the 2023 World Wetlands Day is Wetland Restoration – ‘revive and restore degraded wetlands.’ Wetlands are important  ecosystems that contribute to biodiversity, climate mitigation and adaptation, and freshwater availability.

Wetlands are areas of land that are saturated or flooded with water either permanently or seasonally. Inland wetlands include marshes, lakes, rivers, floodplains, peatlands, and swamps. Coastal wetlands include saltwater marshes, estuaries, mangroves, lagoons, and coral reefs. Human-made wetlands include fishponds, rice paddies, and salt pans.

The first  Convention on Wetlands was held on 2 February 1971, and on 30 August 2021, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 75/317 that established 2 February as World Wetlands Day.

Wetland animals live in the water or around the water, and are dependent upon the water habitat to survive. They include freshwater fish, saltwater reef fish, reptiles (such as crocodiles, alligators, turtles, and snakes), frogs, birds (such as pelicans, cranes, and flamingoes), dragonflies, platypus, crabs, hippos, buffaloes, jaguars, bats, beavers, otters, and many more.

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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