World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on February 2. This is due to the commemoration of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands in Ramsar, Iran. Here the conservation and wise use of wetlands is agreed upon.

Why are wetlands so important?

Wetlands are ecosystems rich in biodiversity. Wetlands include mangroves, coral reefs, estuaries and seagrass beds, which are the most biodiverse environments in the world.

As for the flora, only 100 mammals live in dependence on the wetlands. Among them are shrews, hippopotamuses, otters, beavers, minks or muskrats. Also more than 1800 birds have this type of ecosystem as their home, such as pelicans, sea crows, ducks, geese and swans, etc. Among the amphibians there are more than 5000 species that have the role of bioindicators to consider the environmental quality of a biological environment since they are animals that are highly sensitive to changes in their habitats.

In addition to being home to many animals and plants, wetlands are important because they buffer floods. In effect, they act like sponges and absorb water from rainfall and rising rivers and then slowly filter that water through the soil. On top of that, they reduce the impact of waves and stabilize coastal areas.

In fact, being areas with soil saturated with water over time, wetlands retain and supply water, both for human consumption and for sustaining wildlife. Moreover, they provide food, materials and medicines, since the products extracted from wetlands can be fish, timber, firewood, vegetable oil, salt, medicinal plants, etc.

Wetlands in Costa Rica

In Costa Rica there are 350 wetlands covering 569,742 hectares, representing 7% of the national territory. However, only 12 of these wetlands are considered “Ramsar sites”.

Potrero Grande Mangroves

Retrieved from: Amplify Radio

Tamarindo National Wildlife Refuge

Retrieved from: EcoTrans

Palo Verde National Park

Retrieved from: Periódico Mensaje

Humedal Nacional Térraba Sierpe

Recovered from: Áreas Protegidas y Parques Nacionales de Costa Rica

Caño Negro National Wildlife Refuge

Retrieved from: Fundación de Parques de Nacionales

Arenal Reservoir

Retrieved from: Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park

Isla del Coco National Park

Retrieved from: Faico

Respingue Lagoon

Retrieved from: Área de Conservación Guanacaste

Gandoca Manzanillo National Wildlife Refuge

Retrieved from: Visit Centroamérica

Northeastern Caribbean Wetland

Retrieved from: Parque Nacional Tortuguero

Talamanca Peatlands

Retrieved from: La Nación

Mixto Maquenque National Wildlife Refuge

Retrieved from: De Costa Rica

Let us always remember, but especially this February 2, that wetlands are ecosystems that must be protected and that are fundamental for wildlife and human life on Earth.