Guarding our ecosystems- Marshlands and Wetlands
In the last decade, the conservation of our ecosystem has gained high importance. The last few years have seen a considerable jump on awareness of the conservation of marshlands. Marshlands or wetlands are areas which are transitional between terrestrial and aquatic systems. Here the water is usually at the surface. The land is covered by stagnant water that does not exceed 6 meters. They are considered important as they are home to various species of flora and fauna. Wetlands covers 6 %of the earth`s land surface. This includes marshes, mangroves fens, swamps, lagoons etc. They store water for a long period of time and help keep floods in check. They also prevent coastal erosion. Despite the fact that these marshlands are important the reduction in the levels of these areas are very apparent .The government, in a census, has identified 648,507 hectares of wetlands in India and it has estimated that freshwater wetlands constitute up to roughly 20% of the biodiversity in India. Studies have proved alarming levels of marshland destruction in India. This level has been estimated by experts at up to 2-3% reduction per year. Pallikaranai Marsh
Pallikaranai is locally known as Kazhiveli (a generic Tamil name for marshes and swamps). It is situated in Chennai and is one such important marshland which has been in the preview of the government and NGOs alike. This marshland is a 50 km wetland located in the South of Chennai. Pallikaranai Marsh has the most diverse natural habitats of the country with over 330 species of plants and animals.
According to a census taken by an NGO group Namma Pallikaranai, the heterogeneous ecosystem of the marshland supports about 337 species of flora and fauna. Of the faunal groups, birds, fishes and reptiles are the most prominent. Further it has been identified that Pallikaranai marsh is home to 115 species of birds, 10 species of mammals, 21 species of reptiles, 10 species of...
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