For many years, the ecology of marshes, estuaries, floodplains, lagoons, swamps and bogs was ignored by naturalists, but in the past few decades they have been recognized as supporting an exceptionally rich diversity of species. This covers the many aspects of the study of wetlands in a single, portable volume. Detailed topographical maps show the world's most significant wetland environments, and a gazetteer lists many of the most interesting wetlands to visit.
For many years, the ecology of marshes, estuaries, floodplains, lagoons, swamps and bogs was ignored by naturalists, but in the past few decades they have been recognized as supporting an exceptionally rich diversity of species. Many wetlands throughout the world have now been opened to the public as nature reserves, generating a wide number of visitors and increasing interest from bird-watchers and ecologists. Well known examples are the mangrove swamps of Belize; the Florida Everglades; the Camargue in Provence; Lake Nakuru in Kenya; Australia's Kakudu National Park, and Ellesmere Lake in New Zealand. Philip's Guide to Wetlands covers the many aspects of the study of wetlands in a single, portable volume. The book begins by defining wetlands, and describes the many different ways in which they function as environments and habitats both for wildlife and for people. The economic importance of wetlands is given particular attention. The author then explains how plants and animals are adapted to survive in wetlands and describes the extraordinary diversity of life found within their boundaries. The loss of wetland environments, particularly to agriculture, is examined, together with the harm to biodiversity that this causes. Ways in which wetlands may be conserved are discussed. An atlas section maps the location of wetland environments around the world and the topography of wetland regions, and provides descriptions of important and characteristic features. The last part of the book gives an overview of wetland species, emphasising some of the most fascinating as well as the most important. Philip's Guide to Wetlands will appeal to three principal groups. First, those those who study wetlands and wetland wildlife, as part of a geography, botany or zoology course, at A-level or for a degree. Second, birdwatchers, many of who travel to wetlands around the world for their extraordinary variety of bird life. Third, those visit wetlands when travelling or on vacation. The text is written by Dr Patrick Dugan, former Director of the World Conservation Union's Wetland Programme and now Deputy Director-General of the World Fish Centre, for Africa and West Asia.