Biodiversity refers to the variety of living species on Earth, including plants, animals, bacteria, and fungi. While Earth’s biodiversity is so rich that many species have yet to be discovered, many species are being threatened with extinction due to human activities, putting the Earth’s magnificent biodiversity at risk.
All of the Earth’s species work together to survive and maintain their ecosystems. For example, the grass in pastures feeds cattle. Cattle then produce manure that returns nutrients to the soil, which helps to grow more grass. This manure can also be used to fertilize cropland. Many species provide important benefits to humans, including food, clothing, and medicine.
Much of the Earth’s biodiversity, however, is in jeopardy due to human consumption and other activities that disturb and even destroy ecosystems. Pollution, climate change, and population growth are all threats to biodiversity. These threats have caused an unprecedented rise in the rate of species extinction. Some scientists estimate that half of all species on Earth will be wiped out within the next century. Conservation efforts are necessary to preserve biodiversity and protect endangered species and their habitats.
Biodiversity in British Columbia
British Columbia is the most biologically diverse province in Canada. Because of the diversity of the ecosystems in the province, a large number of the total species in Canada are found here. British Columbia is home to 78% of Canada’s birds, 77% of Canada’s vascular plants, 73% of Canada’s mammals, and 63% of Canada’s insects.
Diversity in all living things enriches our lives, but more importantly biodiversity is essential to life on earth. Biodiversity not only maintains a functional environment; it is a resource for food, shelter, clothing, and other materials. The economy relies on biodiversity since it provides renewable economic resources and ecosystem services, medical and scientific benefits, and is priceless in terms of cultural and aesthetic values.