Wetlands harbor diverse fish, amphibian, and reptile communities, but good estimates of faunal diversity are difficult to make since many animals depend on wetlands for only short periods during their life cycle. The estimates that have been made are surprisingly high in light of the amount of wetland loss and/or disturbance that has already taken place worldwide. Approximately 2/3 of all of the fish that humans consume depend on coastal wetlands at some stage of their life. Wetland fish communities are impacted by a suite of anthropogenic disturbances from nutrient loading and sedimentation to complete wetland loss. Of the approximately 5700 species of amphibians found worldwide, virtually all are dependant on water for breeding and larval development and many use wetlands. Of the amphibian species population trends reviewed by the IUCN-World Conservation Union's Global Amphibian Assessment, approximately 99% were experiencing some sort of decline and 32.5% were globally threatened. Loss of suitable habitat is probably the most important factor contributing to the decline of amphibians. While reptile occurrence in wetlands is somewhat dependant on their ability to tolerate hypoxic conditions, many reptile species depend on wetlands for feeding and breeding. Habitat loss, including the loss of wetlands, is probably the most important factor affecting reptile populations worldwide. Taxa richness of fishes, reptiles, and amphibians can vary considerably by region and is not only controlled by climate and latitude, but the availability, level of disturbance, and types of wetlands present.
- Aquatic habitat