Animals Affected by Biodiversity

Animals are being affected greatly by the decline of biodiversity. Amphibians are have been described as a “marker species or the equivalent of “canaries of the coal mines” meaning they provide an important signal to the health of biodiversity; when they are stressed and struggling, biodiversity may be under pressure. When they are doing well, biodiversity is probably healthy.”

Unfortunately the number of amphibians has been

decreasing drastically. Since frogs have sensitive skin they are usually “the first to respond to environmental changes and their responses can forecast how other species will respond.” Since the number of amphibians are decreasing only time will tell what will happen to other animals when changes of biodiversity become more radical.

Mammals like polar bears and seals will also be greatly affected by changes in biodiversity. Polar bears are depend on sea ice to hunt seals and to move from one area to another, “Polar bears are unlikely to survive as a species if there is an almost complete loss of summer sea-ice cover, which is projected to occur before the end of this century by some climate models. The seals that polar bears hunt are also unlikely to be able to adapt to an absence of summer sea ice, because they give birth to and nurse their pups on the ice and use it as a place for resting.” Caribou and reindeer are also affected by the changes in climate when it comes to finding food and raising their calves.

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The Human Effect on Biodiversity

Humans are causing an increase in the speed of animals becoming extinct. A report from Millennium Ecosystem Assessment states that “a substantial and largely irreversible loss in the diversity of life on Earth, with some 10-30% of the mammal, bird and amphibian species threatened with extinction, die to human actions.” The World Wide Fund for Nature mentions that the “Earth is unable to keep up in the struggle to regenerate from the demands we place on it.” People need to realize that they are harming the environment and that they are capable of reversing the effects.

The United Nations has its 3rd Global Biodiversity Outlook which states that there are pressures that are being put on many countries environments theses include:

1. Habitat loss and degradation

2. Climate change

3. Excessive nutrient load and other forms of pollution

4. Over-exploitation and unsustainable use

5. Invasive alien species


There are many different organizations that people can either join or donate money to help protect biodiversity. Some of the organizations include; USDA Organic, Energy Star, and LEED. There are also simple tasks people can do in their everyday life to help biodiversity. Mr. Hooper from Western Washington University gives a list of ten changes people can make to help biodiversity. His list includes:

1. Reduce use of pesticides and fertilizers in lawn care

2. Get involved with ecological restoration in your area

3. Reduce, reuse, and recycle

4. Composting

5. Use environmentally friendly products for cleanin

6. Buy organic food

7. Buy sustainably harvested seafood

8. Aim for energy conservation in your home

9. Reduce single-person car us

10. Incorporate renewable energy and/or energy efficiency into your next home

These are very easy tasks that do not take a lot of effort to perform but will have an impact on the Earth.




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Reason for biodiversity

The social issue I would like to focus on is biodiversity. Biodiversity is “the number of species of plants, animals, and microorganisms, the enormous diversity of genes in these species, the different ecosystems on the planet, such as deserts, rainforests and coral reefs” (Shah). I chose biodiversity because I feel that the lack of concern and the importance of the issue does not impact American’s lives as much as it should. Biodiversity is a key component in our everyday lives that most are unaware of. Ways biodiversity is important because “larger number of plant species means a greater variety of crops; greater species diversity ensures natural sustainability for all life forms; and healthy ecosystems can better withstand and recover from a variety of disasters” (Shah). With a lack of concern for biodiversity animals extinctions will happen and ecosystems will change. I am hoping to influence American people in that biodiversity is a key component in their way of life.

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