Beauty of Indian Forest

Beauty of Indian Forest
Buxa Tiger Reserve Landscape, Duaars West Bengal

Images from Indian forest

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Study on Indian Wetlands #6

Importance of wetlands :

“Civilization began around wetlands; today's civilization has every reason to leave them wet and wild.” - Edward

Most of the major civilizations of the world have evolved from river valleys and their flood plains. These wetlands have supported the growth of the civilization in various ways ranging from agriculture to transport.

1. Wetlands play a vital role in maintaining the delicate ecological balance. They support a wide range of flora and fauna. Waterfowl rely on wetlands for reproduction and shelter during the different life stages. Shorebirds, geese and ducks use wetlands as resting places during their long migrations.

2. Wetlands also help prevent flooding. Many wetlands are associated with the floodplains surrounding rivers. When these rivers swell in times of heavy rainfall or spring runoff, the wetlands store excess water which is gradually transferred to groundwater reserves rather than flowing overland.

3. Wetlands store excess water and replenish local groundwater supplies. When water reaches the aquifer, it is cleaner than when it entered the wetland because it has been filtered through tiny spaces in the overlying rock. Sediment is often a major pollutant in aquatic systems. Wetlands filter out sediment and decomposing plant matter from water Wetlands reduce sediment by serving as pools where sediment can settle.

4.Wetlands are used for fishing, hunting, boating, bird watching and other forms of outdoor recreation. At one time, wetlands were seen as waste lands because they were too "dirty" to swim in or too shallow for large boats. As people become more appreciative of nature, wetlands continue to become valuable recreational areas.

Importance of wetlands :

5.Tampering with wetlands has also threatened the lives of thousands of people through increased flooding, droughts, and water contamination. Some existing wetlands have been enhanced yet attempts at re-creation have failed. Wetlands are highly dynamic and a change in water level or rainfall can change plant and animal populations.