Wetlands - a rich environment
Wetlands provide habitat for a wide variety of plants, invertebrates,
fish, and larger animals, including many rare, threatened, or
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
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
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
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.
detailed information on the Ottawa River watershed, see the
Resources Canada website.