Alberta Wetlands Discovery Field Guide

Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute
Royal Alberta Museum
Alberta Science Network
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An introduction to Alberta's wetland classifications and biodiversity, created for Alberta Science Network classroom presentations.

A wetland is a part of the land that holds water temporarily or permanently. They provide food, habitat, and shelter to hundreds of species in Alberta, including birds, plants, mammals, fish, amphibians and insects. Some people call wetlands “biodiversity supermarkets” because they support such a wide variety of species! Wetlands are a crucial ecosystem not only for plants and wildlife, but for humans as well. They provide us with “ecosystem services”, which are the benefits that humans receive from nature. For example, wetlands help remove pollutants and sediment from our drinking water, they store water to prevent flooding, they provide habitat for fish that we can catch and eat, and offer beautiful scenery for us to paddle through or walk around and enjoy. It is important to understand wetlands, and the biodiversity that lives in and around them, so that we can make good decisions about how to take care of them so that we may enjoy them for years to come. In this guide you will learn about 5 different wetland types in Alberta, and the biodiversity that lives in them.