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Bangladesh, a land of wetlands, endowed by nature with vast and diverse biodiversity resources. Its wetlands include rivers,
canals and estuaries, natural depressions, ponds, ox-bow lakes, reservoirs, seasonal flood lands, haors, beels and brackish
water aqua-firms. The wetlands of Bangladesh cover an area of about 4.3 million hectares and are highly productive due to its
moderate climate with abundant monsoon rains and deposition of allochthonous nutrients carried in by rain fall run off and
river flooding, and support rich biological diversity of flora and fauna. Wetlands and their biodiversity have been contributing
enormously to the socio-economic life of the millions of people of rural Bangladesh by providing opportunities of employment,
food & nutrition, fuel, fodder, medicine, transportation, irrigation and so forth. The freshwater wetlands are also characterized by
the presence of a broad spectrum of faunal diversity that include fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.
About 932 species of wildlife (excluding fish) have so far been reported by various workers. About 269 species have also been
reported as freshwater wetland dependent which include 208 species of birds, 11 species of amphibians, 32 species of reptiles
and 18 species of mammals. This communication highlights different biodiversity resources, their ecology, potential values and
conservation management of wetlands. It also discusses issues related to conversion of wetlands to croplands and depletion of
wetland-based biodiversity. As a case study, hakaluki haor biodiversity is discussed with its relation to Kushira and Barak rivers,
potential values for lively hood of millions of people, threats and environmental degradation and conservation management.
The freshwater wetlands are also characterized by the presence of a broad spectrum of faunal diversity that include fish,
amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals
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