Why are we losing our Biodiversity?

When people think about problems with our Biodiversity, most tend to primarily think about the loss of creatures such as the Panda or Snow Leopards. This mainly has come about as a result of the large publicity given to these species at risk.

Whilst the loss of individual species catches our attention, it is the degradation and obvious loss of forests, wetlands and coral reefs, to name but a few, that pose the greatest threat to our biodiversity. Taking forests as an example, a large portion of Europe's original forested area has been lost during the last century primarily as a result of the industrial revolution. Other areas of the world, particularly South America's Amazon, continue to suffer from deforestation as a result of industrial processes.

Global changes such as climate change only add to the pressures being faced by our ecosystems. Changes to the timing of flowering and migration patterns, as well as the distribution of species have been observed across the planet. This types of changes can alter natural food chains and as a result indirectly affect the sensitive natural patterns and processes established within each ecosystem, for example mating season no longer coinciding with the natural increase in food availability for birds.

The change in land use is also another reason behind natural habitat loss. In particular when humans convert natural ecosystems into agricultural land in order to meet local demands or for profit. This human influence is still the biggest direct cause of biodiversity loss and can be seen most evidently within the Amazonian Forest of South America.

The loss of biodiversity destabilizes ecosystems and weakens their ability to deal with natural disasters, such as floods, and other impacts caused by human process, such as pollution. Unsustainable use and over-exploitation of ecosystems continues to be the predominant threat of Earth's biodiversity. In order to reverse the current impacts arising as a result of human processes on our biodiversity, humans need to bring their demands on nature in line with nature's ability to produce and in turn dispose only at the rate which nature is capable of absorbing at.