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Petrie's Wetlands

Wetlands are Important

Wetland habitats are beneficial to fish for spawning, feeding and escaping large predators. They provide open water and protective plants preferred by waterfowl.

Wetlands contain a variety of food and cover for the smaller organisms that are used as food by many birds and larger animals.


Wetlands - a rich environment

Wetlands provide habitat for a wide variety of plants, invertebrates, fish, and larger animals, including many rare, threatened, or endangered species.

Plants and animals include both those able to live on land or in water and those that can live only in a wet environment.

Wetlands occupy about 6% of the land surface of the world.

Canada, with its long coasts and extensive wilderness, has 20% of the total, along with a significant proportion of the world’s fresh water resources – 13 million hectares of wetlands in Canada are already classified as being of international importance.

Approximately one quarter of plants, half of fishes, two-thirds of birds, and three quarters of amphibians listed as threatened or endangered in North America are found in or near wetlands.

Information on wetlands, amphibians and turtles is also available on the Adopt-A-Pond Wetland Conservation Program at the Toronto Zoo website.

Types of Wetlands

There are several types of wetlands, sometimes contiguous:

Marshes are usually flooded; plants live in shallow water or saturated ground. Typical marshes are seen along the North Service road approaching Petrie. Water circulation fairly constant

Swamps feature plants that live in standing water, but may dry out at certain times. Water tends to be more stagnant

Peatlands contain decomposing material which over time forms beds of rich organic soil called peat.

Fens are peatlands fed by groundwater, while bogs are replenished by rain and snow, have a high acid content.

For more information, see the University of Guelph

Or Environment Canada’s extensive information on this important topic.

For more detailed information on the Ottawa River watershed, see the Natural Resources Canada website.

Page updated 2015-01-17    © Friends of Petrie Island