Managing Wetland Habitats for Waterbirds: An International Perspective
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- Ma, Z., Cai, Y., Li, B. et al. Wetlands (2010) 30: 15. doi:10.1007/s13157-009-0001-6
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The loss and degradation of wetlands worldwide has adversely affected waterbirds, which depend on wetland habitats. Many studies have indicated that effectively managed wetlands can provide alternative or complementary habitats for waterbirds and mitigate the adverse effects of wetland loss and degradation. We review the studies on the habitat variables affecting use of wetlands by waterbirds, and we suggest how wetlands can be managed to provide waterbird habitat. These habitat variables include water depth, water level fluctuation, vegetation, salinity, topography, food type, food accessibility, wetland size, and wetland connectivity. Overall, the practice of wetland management requires integrated knowledge related to the entire wetland ecosystem, and ecosystem-based approach is needed to improve the habitat quality of managed wetlands with considering multiple spatial scales, temporal variability, and trade-off among diverse habitat requirements of different waterbirds. Several priorities for future research and management are also suggested in this paper.