Thanks for the shout out. Really appreciate it. Wetlands are important areas that support jobs, animals, plants, water quality, and many other things like human health (yes!). Wetlands are managed by a mix of private property owners (such as farmers), non-profit groups (Ducks Unlimited), and state and federal government agencies.
According to the FWS, wetlands:
… provide a multitude of ecological, economic and social benefits. They provide habitat for fish, wildlife and a variety of plants. Wetlands are nurseries for many saltwater and freshwater fishes and shellfish of commercial and recreational importance. Wetlands are also important landscape features because they hold and slowly release flood water and snow melt, recharge groundwater, recycle nutrients, and provide recreation and wildlife viewing opportunities for millions of people. FWS.
Wetlands have several layers of legal protections. The most powerful laws are:
This doesn’t mean that they are safe (they’re absolutely not safe). It means that the public can stop destruction of these important systems.
With that, check out the above report on the status of wetlands in the United States. It’s a comprehensive report that includes climate change and issues of protection.
Also check out Wetlands Watch. They’re a protection group that helps the public access resources on how to report violations, such as pollution, dumping, draining, and illegal poaching.
Regarding this slithery video, you’re right! It is reproduction but it’s also for hibernation and body heat efficiency. The garter snake is my home state, Massachusetts, “State Reptile”! They also converge in large numbers in New England to den in the winter, just not the thousands like in Canada. So weird and awesome!
PS, Check out this article on how climate change will impact American rattle snake’s habitat. Basically, it seems rattlers are too slow to adapt to rapid climate changes and may be wiped out in some areas because it has no suitable habitat to migrate to…
The ranges of species will have to change dramatically as a result of climate change between now and 2100 because the climate will change more than 100 times faster than the rate at which species can adapt, according to a newly published study by Indiana University researchers.
The study, which focuses on North American rattlesnakes, finds that the rate of future change in suitable habitat will be two to three orders of magnitude greater than the average change over the past 300 millennia, a time that included three major glacial cycles and significant variation in climate and temperature.
"We find that, over the next 90 years, at best these species’ ranges will change more than 100 times faster than they have during the past 320,000 years," said Michelle Lawing, lead author of the paper and a doctoral candidate in geological sciences and biology at IU Bloomington. "This rate of change is unlike anything these species have experienced, probably since their formation."