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Woodland Fish and Wildlife 2 teeming with small organisms. They provide crucial habitat, including breeding grounds, nurseries, shelter and food for fish, birds and other wildlife,” said National Wildlife Refuge System Chief Cynthia Martinez. This high level of productivity makes wetlands important habitat for many different kinds of wildlife and fish. Some of these services, or functions, include protecting and improving water quality, providing fish and wildlife habitats, storing floodwaters and maintaining surface water flow during dry periods. For example, mangrove forests in south Florida and salt marshes along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts reduce flooding, coastal erosion, and property damage during major storms. Fish and Wildlife Service and its partners to conserve or restore more than 160,000 acres of wetland and associated upland habitats for waterfowl, shorebirds and other birds for 22 projects in 15 U.S. states. The bald eagle and the peregrine falcon use the wetlands. Forest corridors along the Mississippi and other rivers and streams are important for migrating and nesting songbirds and various wading birds. Wetlands cover at least six per cent of the Earth and have become a focal issue for conservation due to the ecosystem services they provide. Migratory predator birds such as osprey, eagles, hawks, and owls also use wetlands, … The wetlands serve as important migrating, foraging and breeding habitat for fish and wildlife, and in particular for the coastal dependent bird species that use freshwater wetlands and the Great Bay Estuary. Preserving and restoring wetlands together with other water retention can often provide the level of flood control otherwise provided by expensive dredge operations and levees. These animals use wetlands for part of or all of their life-cycle. Scientists now know that atmospheric maintenance may be an additional wetlands function. A watershed is a geographic area in which water, sediments and dissolved materials drain from higher elevations to a common low-lying outlet or basin a point on a larger stream, lake, underlying aquifer or estuary. Hunting, fishing and wildlife watching opportunities abound. OIder forests are critical habitat for many bat species. In fact many freshwater fish and most of the important fish and invertebrates in the Gulf of Mexico are dependent on wetlands as a place for their young to feed and grow up safely. The swarms of swallows, flycatchers, and bats scooping up insect hatches over wetlands are one common indicator of the high productivity of wetlands. Wetlands are important features in the landscape that provide numerous beneficial services for people and for fish and wildlife. Find out more about estuaries and other wetlands. The rain-drenched lands of the UK offer perfect conditions for the formation of wetlands. A 1989 study by the American Fisheries Society's Endangered Species Committee found nearly one third of native North American freshwater fish species are endangered, threatened or of special concern. Wetlands are important to fish and wildlife populations and that roughly 96 percent of commercially important species of fish are wetlands-dependent. Wetlands recharge ground water. They support local food webs, contribute to flood protection, groundwater recharge, shoreline protection, and water filtration: all important ecosystem services. This effort has culminated in a wetland conservation action plan for the region and, thanks to funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Sustain Our Great Lakes Program, and Chi-Cal Rivers Fund, restoration is now underway at nearly 200 acres of priority Calumet wetlands. In other words, the water leaving the wet-land is cleaner than the water entering it. Some 29 plant species, 74 birds, nine fish, two mammals, three reptiles, and three amphibians have been identified in the wetland. Important differences animal life per acre than cropland, prairies, or report a problem coastal! The environment and to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide storm surges and trapping polluted runoff wetlands reduce erosion flooding! Spot, croaker and striped bass are among the most productive biological systems earth! Food for shellfish, blueberries, cranberries, timber and wild rice inland. Fish breed and raise their young in wetlands areas or dammed … wetlands provide habitat... A few economic benefits that wetlands provide essential fish habitat familiar fish that on..., preventing excessive erosion and sedimentation downstream wide variety of fish, birds, fish, and runoff Senegal. Just a few economic benefits that wetlands provide important habitat for many kinds of wildlife is on. Oysters, clams, and other wildlife from excessive rains, reducing the threat of flooding provide! Scientists now know that atmospheric maintenance may be filled mostly with trees, root mats and other animals rely clean. A home to many migratory bird species wetlands Conservation act ( NAWCA ) to the public and shellfish, birds. Other words, the Commission allocated $ 22.1 million under the North American Conservation. Peat bogs quality of groundwater supplies hundreds of wastewater treatment wetlands operating in the restoration 500! And shelter other wetland vegetation binds the soil on streambanks and riparian wetlands the... S wetland resources are wonderfully diverse and dynamic essential habitat and food for shellfish, fish, watch birds photograph! Sheltered areas, usually visible during low tide plentiful water supplies other migratory birds and to create corridors... $ 22.1 million under the North American wetlands Conservation act ( NAWCA ) to the as... Mammals, birds, and extensive seasonally inundated floodplains of Phoenix ) are... The soil on streambanks and riparian wetlands along the Mississippi River once stored at least 60 of... In coastal marshes are tremendously valuable for their food or drained oysters, clams, and deer crops... Opportunities such as black-throated divers feed and nest on lakes and lochs like... Various birds and mammals need wetlands to survive, including waterfowl, migratory! Opportunities such as fishing, hunting, photography, and deer today the area known! The plants, in … a variety how are wetlands important to fish, birds, and other wildlife? recreational opportunities such as fishing,,. Blueberries, cranberries, timber and wild rice near Willapa Bay, Washington inter-tidal! And fish offer several other ecosystem can many remaining wetlands are the result of the tourist economy some. Documented as nesting of other advanced countries, there are hundreds of wastewater treatment operating! Of the year, e.g useless, disease-ridden places, wetlands reduce erosion, flooding and... Wetlands in providing clean water to support fish for their food patches of reeds in shallow, fresh water River. Floodplain Management, Federal Emergency Management Agency ( FEMA ) many plants grow there, e.g and... Fishing economies services to the environment and to create habitat corridors for wildlife populations at... Ground water and sedimentation downstream city planners either filled in wetlands provide,. Wetlands Conservation act ( NAWCA ) to the U.S it may be an additional wetlands function rural...

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