Wetlands of the Nilgiris region serve as unique habitats for a variety of wildlife, flora as well as meeting the needs of the people. They perform a number of important services such as water provision, flood control, water purification, supporting biodiversity and recharging groundwater.
Over the years, there has globally been a destruction of these valuable habitats, the scale of which is unprecedented in human history. Often regarded as wastelands, wetlands continue to be among the world’s most threatened regions. The Nilgiri wetlands are no exception. They have been considered obstacles in the path of progress and hence drained, filled, despoiled and degraded for economic gains. Wetlands are becoming well fields with dozens of open wells pumping out water daily to meet the growing needs of the local population as well as tourists. Invasive species are also strangling the wetlands and destroying their biodiversity.
The negative association people have with wetlands (swamps and marshes) needs to be changed to a positive life-giving water source. It is imperative that these wetlands are identified and monitored so that the changes taking place in and around them is understood and appropriate conservation measures are undertaken.