Managing freshwater, river, wetland and estuarine protected areas
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Better practices for managing inland aquatic ecosystems in protected areas—including rivers, other brackish and freshwater ecosystems, and coastal estuaries—are the focus of this chapter. Most natural protected areas are designated as ‘terrestrial’ or ‘marine’, and the obvious question for most managers is ‘why should I worry about the (usually) small portion of my protected area that involves freshwater habitat’. On the contrary, in this chapter, we argue that freshwater and estuarine habitats are significant for conserving biodiversity in most land-based protected areas and that managers need to apply the freshwater-specific conservation tools outlined here to do a good job. Freshwater ecosystems have the greatest species diversity per unit area, a larger portion of freshwater and estuarine species are threatened, and the ecosystem services of these biomes are used unsustainably to a greater extent than any other biomes (MEA 2005; Dudgeon et al. 2006). Many terrestrial species depend on freshwater ecosystems. Rather than a marginal part of management, freshwater conservation is central to sustaining protected areas and their biodiversity.
Protected Area Governance and Management