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Sunday, August 20, 2006


Continuing to look at biodiversity it is worth looking at what the Natural History Museum in London has to say about the subject. All the quotes and extracts are from their web site today.

Natural History Museum , London

They introduce the subject as:

"The term biodiversity describes the variety of life on Earth, from
micro-organisms to mighty whales, along with the habitats they depend upon.
Discover why the world’s biodiversity is under threat and what will happen to us
as biodiversity decreases. Also, find out about the problems that come with
trying to measure it, and how the Museum’s work is helping in the study and
conservation of biodiversity."

They go on to ask the question which is of interest to wildlife supporters and which not surprisingly echos the quotes in my earlier post on conservation in New Zealand ( post dated July 22nd):

"Why conserve biodiversity?

Biodiversity is a fundamental part of the Earth's life support system.
It supports many basic natural services for humans, such as fresh water,
fertile soil and clean air. Biodiversity helps pollinate our flowers and crops,
clean up our waste and put food on the table. Without it we would not be
able to survive.
The term biodiversity should also remind us that no one
organism lives in isolation. The many different ways that the millions of
organisms on the Earth interact with each other contributes to the balance of
the global ecosystem and the survival of the planet. Biodiversity plays a role
in regulating natural processes such as the growth cycles of plants, the mating
seasons of animals, and even weather systems."

The web site goes on to explain the threat and describes six factors under the headings given below:

"What threatens our biodiversity?
  • Habitat loss and fragmentation
  • Invasive alien species
  • Pollution
  • Climate change
  • Over exploitation
  • Human populations"

There is plenty here to give background to our next public meeting on Climate Change in September.

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