Wetland Losses and the Status of Wetland-Dependent Species

  • Nick C. DavidsonEmail author
Reference work entry


Human-kind has been draining, infilling, and converting both coastal and inland wetlands for many centuries. Recent estimates suggest that wetland losses have been as much as 87% since 1700 AD, 70% since 1900 AD, and 30% since 1970 AD. Rates of loss in the twentieth century were almost four times faster than in earlier centuries, and wetland conversion is continuing in the twenty-first century. Although rates of loss are now low or slowing in some parts of the world (e.g., Europe and North America), high losses are continuing elsewhere, especially in Asia. Not unexpectedly, the status of species dependent on wetlands is deteriorating, and at faster rates than species depending on other biomes. Although the status of migratory shorebird populations has improved in the twenty-first century in some regions (e.g., North America), it is very poor and deteriorating further elsewhere, especially in East Asia-Australasia.


Wetland loss Rate of loss Wetland-dependent species Migratory shorebirds 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Land, Water and SocietyCharles Sturt UniversityAlburyAustralia
  2. 2.Nick Davidson EnvironmentalWigmoreUK

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