Wetlands are areas where the water table is at or near the surface of the land, or where the land is covered by shallow water. The Ramsar Convention defines wetlands as:

"areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six metres".

They include the rivers, lakes, coastal lagoons, mangroves, peatlands, fens, bogs and coral reefs, in addition to man-made wetlands that includes fish and shrimp ponds, ponds, irrigated agricultural land, salt pans, reservoirs, canals, sewage farms, etc. Wetlands are amongst the most productive ecosystems, that are valuable as sources, sinks, and transformers of a multitude of chemical, biological, and genetic materials. They support high concentrations of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrate species.


The interaction of man with wetlands initiated a process of evolution and development of many civilizations. Societies have enjoyed an ancient association with wetlands and have learned to obtain multiple benefits- natural resources, amenities and environmental services from them.

But in the recent past, the wetland values are often overlooked resulting from the growing population pressures and unplanned development threatening their very existence. In order to stem this tide of destruction, especially of wetlands located in urban areas suitable guidelines to assess the ecological integrity and effective monitoring programs are required which includes collecting sufficient information on the various functions, components and attributes of wetlands, reduce the ongoing ecological imbalance.

In view of this there is a need to periodically monitor these systems. Ecological restoration and ecosystem management is an essential component of any habitat conservation. The management of wetlands has become important because these ecosystems are still being reclaimed or encroached for agricultural activities, aquaculture, for sewage disposal, etc.

The present work attempts to identify some of the major threats, wetland face today, develop suitable site specific management plan and make suitable suggestions to draw the attention of to wetland biologists, conservationists, planners and policy makers.