Biodiversity is a great word for the variety of life on Earth.
Biodiversity is you and all the other living beings on the planet. We see biodiversity every day, but it is more than insects, animals and trees. It’s about how everything is connected. If we lose part of the biodiversity, the rest is affected.
We are all connected
All species, including humans, are connected and depend on each other to survive. If some biodiversity disappears, other species may be harmed. It is important to protect biodiversity so that we do not lose any of these important pieces.
For example: imagine if maples disappeared. We would miss its leafy
shade, fall colors and maple syrup. And we would lose all the valuable oxygen.
homes for birds and animals, and wood for buildings and furniture. The appearance of our backyards, forests and provinces would change forever.
And that’s just a small example.
We cannot exist without biodiversity. Provides things like:
Aspirin, penicillin and thousands of other medications are derived from nature. In fact, more than half of all prescription medications are made from plants, animals, and microorganisms. With more than 30,000 species, Ontario may hold undiscovered life-saving medicines.
You are what you eat and food is one of the many wonderful things that biodiversity provides. Bees pollinate crops, organic fertilization increases yield, and traditional varieties make our plants stronger and healthier. An Ontario farmer can feed 120 people each year, all thanks to biodiversity.
Did you know that biodiversity also regulates our climate? Conserved forests, wetlands and other habitats help regulate greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and reduce the impact of floods and droughts.
What threatens biodiversity?
Palsa Swamp in Polar Bear Provincial Park
Humans are the main reason why biodiversity is lost. Sometimes we take too much from the environment and don’t replace it. Our roads and subdivisions destroy valuable habitat. Pollution and climate change can harm ecosystems and species. Our actions can also introduce invasive species from around the world that destroy and damage what lives here naturally.
Humans may be the cause of biodiversity loss, but we can also be the solution.
What can I do to help?
Help scientists track changes in the environment by contributing to “community science” monitoring programs.
Conserve and restore habitats through planting a tree either clean a park, ravine or river near where you live.
Reduce your ecological footprint sharing the car, recycling and using less energy.