#WorldWetlandsDay is on the 2nd February!
Did you know that Tuesday 2nd February is #WorldWetlandsDay?
Join us in celebrating and raising awareness of the importance of our Welsh wetland habitats.
So what is a wetland?
Wetlands can be fresh or salt water, natural or man-made and include estuaries, rivers, mudflats, mangroves, reefs, marshes, swamps, peat bogs, lakes, pools and ponds.
Why are wetlands so important?
Wetlands capture and store rainwater. Only 2.5% of the world’s water is fresh and most of it is held in glaciers, ice caps or underground.
Wetlands remove and absorb pollutants which improves water quality. They can remove up to 60% of metals in the water, trap and retain up to 90% of sediment from runoff and eliminate up to 90% of nitrogen.
They absorb floodwater like a sponge and coastal wetlands buffer us from the sea. Wetlands are a major storer of carbon. Peatlands alone store more carbon in the soil than all tropical rainforests combined.
Around 40% of the world’s species rely on wetland habitats to survive. Unfortunately, a quarter of wetland species face extinction due to loss of habitat.
Threats to Wetland habitats
Over the last 300 years, 87% of the world's wetlands have been lost. This is mainly due to wetlands being drained to provide land for housing, industry and agriculture. Pollution from factories, fertilisers, pesticides or from major spills, all pose serious threats to wetlands. 80% of our global wastewater is released into wetlands untreated.
This year World Wetlands Day aims to promote the value of wetlands and encourage us to save the world’s wetlands locally, nationally and internationally. The Wildlife Trust for South and West Wales owns and manages Teifi Marshes Nature Reserve in North Pembrokeshire, which is home to many wetland habitats.
The rivers Teifi and Piliau run through the reserve, but there are also pools/ponds, marshes, wet meadows, mud flats and reedbeds providing habitat for a huge variety of species.
By supporting our conservation efforts here and across South and West Wales, you are helping to protect and preserve precious habitats and all the diversity within them. Join us today!
Gretchen Taylor, People and Wildlife Officer