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February 2nd is World Wetlands Day! This awareness day commemorates the 1971 adoption of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. It’s also the perfect time to reflect on the global importance of these ecosystems, and to renew our commitment to protecting wetlands in Canada.
This year’s theme is “Wetlands and Climate Change.” Did you know that keeping wetlands intact can help us cope with a changing climate? Here are some examples:

  • Wetlands such as peatlands absorb and store carbon.
  • Coastal wetlands reduce the impacts of extreme weather on people, wildlife, and property along coastlines.
  • Wetlands mitigate floods and droughts by absorbing excess rainfall and releasing stored water when the weather is dry.

Volunteer Katherine Conkin Photo: John Conkin

Bird Studies Canada is thankful for the many Citizen Science volunteers who work with us to monitor the health of Canada’s wetlands and their wildlife. Your contributions make it possible to draw conclusions about the statuses and trends of wildlife populations, and to guide conservation action.
Want to get involved? You can help wetlands by joining a Citizen Science program in your region:
 The Saskatchewan Breeding Bird Atlas is seeking volunteers to collect bird observations from wetlands (and other habitats) in priority areas across the province.
To learn more contact Saskatchewan Atlas Coordinator LeeAnn Latremouille or visit the Atlas website.
Great Lakes Region
Volunteers are needed to survey for birds and frogs throughout the Great Lakes Watershed in both Canada and the U.S. as part of the Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program. In particular, we are looking for new volunteers for southern and eastern Ontario, New York, and Michigan. Check out available survey routes on our online map.
For information on the program, please contact Kathy Jones.
New volunteers are needed to survey marsh birds for the Québec Marsh Monitoring Program – particularly in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Mauricie, Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, and Bas-St-Laurent regions.
Andrew Coughlan would be happy to hear from those interested.
We need volunteers to help expand the Maritimes Marsh Monitoring Program and provide a better understanding of wetlands in our region. This program covers both freshwater and salt marshes throughout the Maritimes.
Please contact Lucas Berrigan if you wish to volunteer.
Thank you for taking action for wetlands!

You can also show your love for these important places on World Wetlands Day by using the hashtags #KeepWetlands and #WorldWetlandsDay on social media. Tag @BirdStudiesCan on Twitter or Instagram or mention Bird Studies Canada on Facebook to show us your favourite wetland or wetland bird!

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