Monday, March 15, 2010

Facts about biodiversity

Biodiversity is the variation of life forms within a given ecosystem that is the result of 4 billion years of evolution.

Biodiversity loss is currently one of the biggest ecological problems in the world. Biodiversity loss is mostly connected with habitat loss. The number of human population is rapidly increasing and more people needs more area meaning that animal and plant habitats are significantly reduced which pushes many animal and plant species to the brink of extinction. At current pace the human expansion is forcing species to go extinct about 1000 times faster compared to nature process of selection.

According to the current estimates more than 25000 species are driven to extinction every year.

The year 2010 has been declared as the International Year of Biodiversity yet very little has been so far done to halt the global biodiversity loss.

Each year 5000-1000 new species are discovered by scientists (most of them are insects).

The areas of richest biodiversity on our planet are tropical forests. In fact tropical regions support two-thirds of these estimated 250,000 plant species.

Biodiversity in tropical forests.

Some recent studies suggest that 30% of all natural species will be extinct by 2050 if current trend of biodiversity loss continues in the next few decades.

Though scientists are each year trying to improve the current inventories of species these inventories are always insufficient and incomplete to provide the fully accurate numbers of species that live in our planet.

Biodiversity loss if continues its current trend is likely to cause huge food shortage in years to come.

The UN Convention on Biological Diversity has stated that there are some 13 million species, of which 1.75 million have been described.

Scientists believe that according to the fossil records there have been five historical mass extinctions, and Earth is currently facing sixth mass extinction.

Climate change also has huge impact on biodiversity loss, not only in polar regions but also in tropical regions.

Biodiversity loss is not only happening on land but also in our oceans and seas, one of the main reasons for this is climate change that is not only increasing ocean temperatures but also makes oceans more acidic.

Successful conservation of biodiversity has to be part of the plans for agriculture, fishery, and forestry sectors, and it also requires lot bigger media attention.

Invasive plants and animals are also one of the biggest threats to biodiversity. These invasive species compete with native species for food and resources which can lead to extinction of many native species.


  1. it helped me with my school project.

  2. Also used for biodiversity hotspots paper