Topics: Wetland, Water, Remote sensing Pages: 23 (7335 words) Published: May 28, 2013
S. N. Prasad, T. Sengupta, Alok Kumar, V. S. Vijayan and Lalita Vijayan Salim Ali Center for Ornithology and Natural History,Coimbatore-641 108. T. V. Ramachandra and N. Ahalya
Center for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore-560 012. A. K. Tiwari
Regional Remote Sensing Service Center, Dehradun, Uttarachal-248 001. CONTENTS|
Distribution of wet lands in India|
Diversity of aquatic vegitation and avifauna in wetlands|
Diversity of fishes in wetlands|
Threat to wetlands is a threat to ecological balance|
Acute wetland losses|
Chronic wetland losses|
The most seriously threatened wetlands in India|
Wetland management - Current status|
Protection laws and government initiatives|
National wetland strategies|
Use of Remote Sensing and GIS in wetland management|
Interconnectivity of wetlands|
Classification scheme of inland wetlands|
Criteria for identifying wetlands of international importance( Ramsar Convention) | Classification of wetlands in the Indian subcontinent (Gopal et at., 1995)| Proposed classification of Inland wetlands in the Indian subcontinent(Anon, 2000)| Conclusion|

Wetlands are defined as lands transitional between terrestrial and aquatic eco-systems where the water table is usually at or near the surface or the land is covered by shallow water (Mitch and Gosselink, 1986). The value of the world's wetlands is increasingly receiving due attention as they contribute to a healthy environment in many ways. They retain water during dry periods, thus keeping the water table high and relatively stable. During periods of flooding, they mitigate floods and trap suspended solids and attached nutrients. Thus, streams flowing into lakes by way of wetland areas will transport fewer suspended solids and nutrients to the lakes than if they flow directly into the lakes. The removal of such wetland systems because of urbanization or other factors typically causes lake water quality to worsen. In addition, wetlands are important feeding and breeding areas for wildlife and provide a stopping place and refuge for waterfowls. As with any natural habitat, wetlands are important in supporting species diversity and have a complex of wetland values. The present review is aimed at providing, in a nutshell, the distribution of wetlands, the value of wetlands, the causes and consequences of the loss of wetlands. The review attempts to provide a glimpse of the use of modern spatial technology tools, viz., Remote Sensing/GIS for obtaining an assessment, description and monitoring of inland wetlands. The review also gives a methodology for an ongoing nationwide attempt at evolving a conservation area network or a protected area network of inland wetlands. DISTRIBUTION OF WETLANDS IN INDIA |

India, with its annual rainfal1 of over 130 cm, varied topography and climatic regimes, supports and sustains diverse and unique wetland habitats. Natural wetlands in India consists of the high-altitude Himalayan lakes, followed by wetlands situated in the flood plains of the major river systems, saline and temporary wetlands of the arid and semi-arid regions, coastal wetlands such as lagoons, backwaters and estuaries, mangrove swamps, coral reefs and marine wetlands, and so on. In fact with the exception of bogs, fens and typical salt marshes, Indian wetlands cover the whole range of the ecosystem types found. In addition to the various types of natural wetlands, a large number of man-made wetlands also contribute to the faunal and floral diversity. These man-made wetlands, which have resulted from the needs of irrigation, water supply, electricity, fisheries and flood control, are substantial in number. The various reservoirs, shallow ponds and numerous tanks support wetland biodiversity and add to the country's wetland wealth. It is estimated that freshwater wetlands alone support 20 per cent of the known...
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