02 February 2014

World Wetlands Day



Date of Issue : 2 February 2014

On 2nd February each year  World Wetlands Day is observed. This day marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea.

Each year since 1997, the Ramsar Secretariat has provided materials so that government agencies, non-governmental organizations, conservation organizations, and groups of citizens can help raise public awareness about the importance and value of wetlands.


Each year on 2 February, the Game Bird Habitat Collection is issued by New Zealand Post to celebrate World Wetlands Day. The 2014 issue is the 21st in the series and features the Pūkeko.


One of the most recognisable birds in New Zealand, the Pūkeko (Porphyrio melanotus) is also one of New Zealand’s most beloved birds. Pūkeko populations are abundant across the country, though they’re mostly around wetlands and farmlands. The Pūkeko is affectionately known as a swamp hen, pook, or for some hunters, the blue pheasant.

The distinctive Pūkeko is mostly a deep blue colour, sometimes with purple tones, with a black head and upper parts, white feathers under its tail, and a striking red bill with matching red legs. The Pūkeko is seen by New Zealanders as very cheeky and friendly, though it can be aggressive and territorial. Pūkeko are excellent runners and swimmers, and despite the fact that they’re reluctant to take flight, when pushed, they are strong flyers that can cover long distances.

The Pūkeko nesting season usually runs from August to March, though it is not unusual to see baby chicks hatching in late autumn. Pūkeko are cooperative breeders, meaning that multiple male and female birds often share a nest and divide up the responsibilities of incubation of eggs, and the guarding and feeding of chicks.

World Wetlands Day

2 February each year is World Wetlands Day, This is an international date with a different theme and message on a relevant subject set each year by the Ramsar Secretariat.

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World Wetlands Day 2014: Wetlands and Agriculture

“ Wetlands and Agriculture: Partners for Growth ”


The them for World Wetlands Day 2014 is Wetlands and agriculture: Partners for growth.

The year 2014 has been designated by the United Nations as the International Year of family farming.In recognition of the important interrelationship between farming and wetlands, the theme for World Wetlands Day 2014 is Wetlands and agriculture: partners for growth.

Wetlands have often been seen as a barrier to agriculture, being drained and reclaimed to make more farming land available.

But the essential role of wetlands in providing valuable ecosystem services such as water purification of farm runoff, recycling nutrients, protecting land from flood damage and recharging groundwater aquifers (as well as offering recreation opportunities and supporting a rich diversity of wildlife) is now being acknowledged.

These days, there are successful agricultural practices that support healthy wetlands and World Wetlands Day is a chance to showcase farming families who are clearly demonstrating that protection of wetlands goes hand in hand with production from the land.

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