Wetlands – UPSC Prelims

What are Wetlands?
  • Wetlands are areas where water is the primary factor controlling the environment and the associated plant and animal life.
  • These areas have the soil covered by water or are present either at or near the surface of the soil all year or for varying periods of time during the year, including during the growing season.
  • Wetlands, natural and manmade, freshwater or brackish, provide numerous ecological services.
  • The density of birds in a particular area of wetland can be indication of the ecological health of a wetland.
Why are they important?
  • It helps to maintain sedimentation and balance of soil, helpful in water, carbon and nutrient cycles.
  • It helps to regulate the amount of water as excess water from rainfall and floods gets absorbed and can be used in times of need.
  • It is source of livelihood through fishing and rice farming to travel, tourism and water provision.
  • Wetlands host a large variety of life, protect our coastlines, provide natural sponges against river flooding and store carbon dioxide to regulate climate change.
  • They provide habitat for wildlife and migratory birds and help in conservation of environment.

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