World Wetlands Day is observed on Feb. 2nd

The loss of wetlands in Alberta, in Canada and around the world continues at an incredible rate

February 2, which is World Wetlands Day, forces all of us to come to terms with an environmental crisis happening right in our own backyard.

It’s a crisis just as damaging as those being experienced by rainforests, coral reefs and the Australian Outback.

Using historical data and mapping, it’s estimated that 70 per cent of wetlands in settled areas of Canada are no longer. And, just as damaging as wetland loss is to people and the planet, so too is the decline of biodiversity that occurs when these valuable ecosystems are lost.

This year’s theme for World Wetlands Day is Wetlands and Biodiversity.

Biodiversity is a measure of the variety of plants and animals in an environment. The biodiversity associated with wetlands is among the highest in the world.

High biodiversity is an indicator that the environment is healthy; reduced biodiversity is a warning that the environment and ecosystems are under stress, have been damaged or are being damaged.

When species are lost, the impact is perpetual. At home, Canada’s State of the Birds report says that our country has lost 40 to 60 per cent of shorebird, grassland bird, and aerial insectivore (birds that feed on insects while flying such as swallows) populations.

A North American study reveals that nearly three billion birds have disappeared since 1970 in Canada and the U.S. It’s an alarming statistic that sheds light to an overlooked biodiversity crisis.

Often wetland loss is the result of human activity past and present. While we know the value of wetlands relative to biodiversity and the environment, we continue to lose wetlands outright and damage many of those that remain.

But there is hope.

Work by Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and its many partners is helping bird populations – especially waterfowl – make a comeback, and in some cases, thrive.

The DUC community which includes landowners, donors, volunteers, staff, government, scientific experts, outdoor enthusiasts and industry stands committed to conserving wetlands and the biodiversity they support through science-based efforts and programs.

The challenge ahead of all of us now – and you — is continuing to respond to the global call to conserve wetlands and associated habitat.

Learn how you can help save wetlands and promote biodiversity at www.ducks.ca.

Ron Maher

Manager, Provincial Operations – Alberta; Ducks Unlimited Canada

Kevin Smith

National Manager, Boreal Programs – Ducks Unlimited Canada

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Stettler RCMP seek third suspect in residential break-in

RCMP responded to a call that a home owner observed a break in at their cabin at Rochon Sands

Rotary Club of Stettler continues to help build up the community

Members gather Mondays at noon at the United Church Hall for lunch meetings

PHOTOS: Local officials sign proclamation declaring Feb. 16th to 22nd as Kin Canada Week

On Feb. 20th, Kin Week was proclaimed in Stettler in honour of 100 years of Kin in Canada

The Augustana Choir is gearing up for a spring tour with stops in Castor and Bashaw

The Choir will be touring during their spring break to recruit students to the program and perform for various communities

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Alberta Appeal Court sides with Alberta on federal carbon tax

Today’s decision is the first to side with a province against the federal government

Father and two children, from Southern Alberta, killed in fatal crash in B.C.

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Harvey Weinstein found guilty of sex crimes in landmark #MeToo trial

The cases against the Hollywood mogul started the #MeToo movement

CRA puts focus on paper returns as tax-filing season opens

The federal tax collector expects to handle about two million paper returns this calendar year out of roughly 26 million filings

Teck withdraws application for Frontier mine, citing discourse over climate change

The Vancouver-based company said it will take a $1.13-billion writedown on the Frontier project in Alberta

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary Chief Woos said they are ready to engage in nation-to-nation talks with the B.C.

Most Read