Threats to biodiversity

By: Olivia Kendle

There are many threats to our planet at this current time. One of the most serious threats is loss of biodiversity. It is important to know the main risks that decreasing biodiversity poses for the health of our planet.

First of all, the term biodiversity is short for “biological diversity”. Biological diversity refers to the way that all plants and animals and everything on earth are interrelated and dependent on one another. Since everything is dependent on everything else, if anything changes to one part of the environment, it shows up in other parts of the environment. Scientists are especially concerned about the effects that humans have on biological diversity. They study these effects so that they can tell us what we need to do to keep our environment healthy.

Among the serious threats is climate change. The effects from climate change include weather and climate effects which some animals can not adapt to in time or are struggling to survive. For example; pollution and trash in ocean waters as well as warming in ocean temperatures are affecting many species to survive. Ice is one of the main reflectors of sun rays. But with the ice melting, many rays of sun are coming into our atmosphere, “bleaching” our coral reefs. Many marine species die without the protection of the coral reef.

Another threat to biodiversity is human population growth. The slow growth of population causes expansions of cities. More farms and factories are built and forests are being cut down to make room. Many species can not adapt to these large changes and are forced out or killed in the process.

Fortunately, there are many things that can be done and are being done to solve these issues. According to the American Museum of Natural History, “Over 100,000 protected areas—including national parks, wildlife refuges, game reserves, and marine protected areas, managed both by governments and local communities—provide habitat for wildlife, and help keep deforestation in check.”

We need to be informed about the threats of biodiversity because it affects the wellbeing of all of us and more importantly, our planet.

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