Biodiversity refers varieties among living organisms from all sources, including terrestrial, marine, and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are a part.
Instead of knowing about biodiversity’s importance for a long time, yet human activities are causing massive extinctions. According to the Environment New Service, the current extinction rate will be leading 1,000 times the background rate(August 1999) and may climb to 10,000 times the background rate during the next century.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has revealed a fact-
- At threat of extinction are
- 1 out of 4 conifers
- 1 out of 3 amphibians
- 6 out of 7 marine turtles
- 1 out of 4 mammals
- 1 out of 8 birds
- 75% of genetic diversity of agricultural crops has been lost
- 1/3rd of reef-building corals around the world are threatened with extinction
- Over 350 million people suffer from severe water scarcity
- 75% of the world’s fisheries are fully or over exploited
- Up to 70% of the world’s known species risk extinction if the global temperatures rise by more than 3.5°C
We were not wishing for that kind of world, since our lives are inextricably linked with biodiversity and ultimately its protection is essential for our very survival.
As explained in the UN’s 3rd “Global Biodiversity Book” the rate of biodiversity loss has not been reduced because the 5 principle pressures on biodiversity are persistent, even intensifying:
- Excessive nutrient load and other forms of pollution
- Over-exploitation and unsustainable use
- Invasive alien species
- Habitat loss and degradation
- Climate change
Extinction risks out pace any conservation successes. Amphibians are the most at risk of extinctions, while corals have had a dramatic increase in risk of extinction in recent years.
IUCN maintains the Red List to assess the conservation status of species, subspecies, varieties, and even selected sub populations on a large scale.
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