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Often called 'nurseries of life,' wetlands provide habitat for thousands of species of aquatic and terrestrial plants and animals. Although wetlands are best known for being home to water lilies, turtles, frogs, snakes, alligators, and crocodiles, they also provide important habitat for waterfowl, fish, and mammals. Migrating birds use wetlands to rest and feed during their cross-continental journeys and as nesting sites when they are at home. As a result, wetland loss has a serious impact on these species. Habitat degradation since the 1970s has been a leading cause of species extinction. —
Wetlands cover a small percentage of the earth’s surface, yet they are essential systems – they are the arteries and veins of the landscape. They are rich in nature and vital to human life. They act as water sources and purifiers. They protect our shores. They are the planet’s greatest natural carbon stores. They are crucial to agriculture and fisheries. —