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Wetlands

Photo essay: the diversity, beauty and power of wetlands

No two wetlands are alike. And their uniqueness is what makes each of them truly special.

October 04, 2018
A wetland in Kejimkujik National Park, Nova Scotia. Wetlands in this inland park provide habitat for species at risk like the Blanding’s turtle. Designated by Parks Canada as a dark-sky preserve, stargazers can find rare respite here from the glare of artificial light to enjoy the reflection of the moon and stars in wetland waters.
A wetland in Kejimkujik National Park, Nova Scotia. Wetlands in this inland park provide habitat for species at risk like the Blanding’s turtle. Designated by Parks Canada as a dark-sky preserve, stargazers can find rare respite here from the glare of artificial light to enjoy the reflection of the moon and stars in wetland waters. © DUC

We know wetlands as critical waterfowl migration pit stops. But North America’s wetlands are much more than that. They are our connectors…and our protectors.

As one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems, wetlands connect countries, cultures, economies and people. They clean the water of rivers and lakes to support some of our favorite recreational activities. They are home to an array of plants and animals. They contribute to sustainable production of our food crops.

As protectors, wetlands help regulate our weather and our climate, and they help mitigate impacts of flood and drought.

Wetlands are an important shared resource, which means we also share a responsibility to protect them. By partnering with organizations in the United States and Mexico, Ducks Unlimited Canada is helping to conserve these incredibly hardworking wetland habitats for all of us.

As you’ll see in the photos that follow, no two wetlands are alike. And their uniqueness is what makes each of them truly special.

Canada’s boreal forest wetlands provide breeding habitat for waterfowl. For people, they offer employment and economic opportunities rooted in hunting, fishing, recreation and tourism.
Canada’s boreal forest wetlands provide breeding habitat for waterfowl. For people, they offer employment and economic opportunities rooted in hunting, fishing, recreation and tourism. © DUC
Hauntingly beautiful, bottomland forested wetlands like this cypress swamp in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley offer critical food and shelter for wood ducks and mallards, as well as a host of ecological functions important to people, including recreation and flood control.
Hauntingly beautiful, bottomland forested wetlands like this cypress swamp in the Mississippi Alluvial Valley offer critical food and shelter for wood ducks and mallards, as well as a host of ecological functions important to people, including recreation and flood control. © DUC
In Nevada—America’s driest state—water is the most precious resource of all. Wetlands like these are a welcome, wet respite for people and waterfowl alike.
In Nevada—America’s driest state—water is the most precious resource of all. Wetlands like these are a welcome, wet respite for people and waterfowl alike. © DUC
Up to 20 per cent of North America’s migrating waterfowl rely on Mexico’s mangrove swamps and other habitats during the winter months.
Up to 20 per cent of North America’s migrating waterfowl rely on Mexico’s mangrove swamps and other habitats during the winter months. © DUC
The deep, complex root systems of mangrove trees and shrubs anchor swamps full of rich, organic matter that produce food for ducks and other wildlife.
The deep, complex root systems of mangrove trees and shrubs anchor swamps full of rich, organic matter that produce food for ducks and other wildlife. © DUC

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