Wetlands are widespread throughout the Alberta landscape. Approximately 18% of the province is covered by wetlands of which Peatlands comprise about 90.4% of the total wetland area (Ducks Unlimited Canada). Wetlands in Alberta have been significantly altered and degraded over time by settlement, agricultural and industrial development, and the conversion process is still occurring (Wetlands Alberta).
Siberia has experienced a steady temperature rise during the last half century (Frey and Smith, 2003) and as a consequence the Arctic lakes are facing widespread decline in areal extent. During the last three decades, 11% of the lakes have disappeared or shrunk in size. Thawing and breaching of permafrost due to climate warming is causing lake water to be drained into the subsurface (Smith et al. 2005). If climate warming continues, the Arctic region will face dramatic changes in regional hydrology and ecosystem processes in the near future.
The wetlands of Lake Chad continue to disappear due to drought and intensified anthropogenic uses with concerns for life extending not only for the migratory birds which seasonally inhabit the area or the various flora and fauna found among the shallow lake, but for the livelihoods of the local people as well.
The Pantanal is the largest continuous freshwater wetland in the world which encompasses a floodplain ecosystem with an area of flooded grassland and savanna, draining an area of c. 280,000 sq. km.(Pott and Vali. 2004). The Pantanal is located within the boundaries of Brazil, Paraguay, and Bolivia, and it is fed by the Paraguay River which has its headwaters in Mato Grosso, Brazil.