11 Mar '12, 1am

Why are wetlands important? In many cases, they provide life:

Situated in the Northern cape province of South Africa, Namaqualand is known for its open spaces and rare species such as the speckled cape tortoise (Homopus signatus ) - the world’s smallest tortoise. The sunny grasslands known as the veld provide an ideal habitat for many types of flowers that bloom by the thousands every spring. About 1,000 of the area’s 3,500 wildflower species are found nowhere else in the world. The region is also home to 26,000 people who are slowly losing their main water source. Wetlands as a Life Force The abundant biodiversity of the region is largely supported by the Kamiesberg mountain range, an important rain catchment surrounded by wetlands. The sporadic rainfall and semi-arid climate make the wetland resources of Namaqualand especially valuable. EXPLORE: The Miombo-Mopane Woodlands and Savannas of Southern Africa But the area’s rivers and s...

Full article: http://www.conservation.org/FMG/Articles/Pages/namaqualan...

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