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Biodiversity

A detailed explanation: What is biodiversity?

Forest loss accelerates

Forest loss accelerates



We need these forests to retain some of the remaining carbon. We need these trees so that biodiversity around them remains. We need these animals to represent something of the old earth, that used to work as an entity. We need to act very very quickly.

Chitwan shines, but the railway threatens

Chitwan shines, but the railway threatens

International pressure on African, South American and now Asian nations is growing so that we can retain the prime heritage of biodiverse reserves within each country. Without them, the future is bleak for both species and the industry that relies on natural resources being kept in place. It is simply foolish to destroy what you have for short-term gains. There is a future that has to be considered-something we have rarely done in the past.

A small pocket of conservation in Iran

A small pocket of conservation in Iran



With pseudonyms because the state is still controlling them, conservation activists in “Persia” protect their bears and leopard. Much more work will keep them busy with anti-pollution measures and protecting the tiny creatures and plants that give Iran such beautiful biodiversity.

The extinction of mammals

The extinction of mammals

This lake will become a great tourist attraction with its unbeatable karst scenery, but at what cost do we develop for tourists, losing even mammal biodiversity.

The bigger the invader, the better

The bigger the invader, the better



When alien species invade a new habitat, the native biodiversity is reduced, but this is the first study to quantify the changes in the adapting species. Its effect on the invertebrates and native fish is extreme.

Ecuador dumps the Amazon's most biodiverse reserve

Ecuador dumps the Amazon's most biodiverse reserve

The life of the Yasuni Reserve in the Amazon is not as we know it. With 44 times the biodiversity of the whole of one country in one hectare, it exhibits a show of insect, amphibian, bird and even mammalian species that we can’t imagine. Now replace them all with oil rigs.

International Day for Biodiversity - 22nd May 2013

International Day for Biodiversity - 22nd May 2013

Biodiversity is the term given to the variety of life on Earth and the natural pattern it forms. The biodiversity we see today is the result of millions of years of evolution, initially shaped by natural processes, but in modern times increasingly as a result of human intervention. We are an integral part of the web of biodiversity and we depend on this web, as does every other life form on the planet.

From rabbiting to killer shrimps: IAS (Part II) in detail

From rabbiting to killer shrimps: IAS (Part II) in detail



Part II of the impact invasive alien species have on ecosystems and biodiversity. The modern ecologist calls rabbits an IAS, but European scientists have started counting the cost of all of their aliens and invaders.

IAS lose us ecosystems and biodiversity

IAS lose us ecosystems and biodiversity

Research into invasive species and their impact on ecosystems and biodiversity. An IAS is an Invasive Alien Species, whether human-directed or not, whether plant or animal, or the disease/parasites they carry.

Big loss of biodiversity with global warming

Big loss of biodiversity with global warming



The major threat of climatic changes hangs like the sword of Damocles over the heads of many endangered species - and the rest of us.

Primates are in peril - Our relatives are almost extinct

Primates are in peril - Our relatives are almost extinct

A new report highlights the 25 most endangered primate species. The new report, Primates In Peril, was published this week at the UN's Convention on Biological Diversity COP11.

Biodiversity within protected tropical forests threatened

Biodiversity within protected tropical forests threatened



Protected tropical forest biodiversity under threat. A new study shows that biodiversity levels in tropical forests are still declining despite having protected area status.

Water, Food and Air are not free

Water, Food and Air are not free

Ecologists call for remaining biodiversity protection. 'Water purity, food production and air quality' are often taken for granted but do not simply 'come for free.'

Osa Peninsula - The most biologically intense place on earth

Osa Peninsula - The most biologically intense place on earth

Costa Rica is renowned for its biodiversity. Osa Peninsula is a tiny strip of land covered in magnificent, unspoiled rainforest. The Osa Peninsula is home to half of all the species in Costa Rica.

The International Day for Biological Diversity - 22nd May 2012

The International Day for Biological Diversity - 22nd May 2012

The International Day for Biological Diversity falls on 22nd May each year. This year the theme is Marine Biodiversity. The challenges facing marine biodiversity are unprecedented and only concerted world-wide action can avert its complete collapse.

Biodiversity loss from species extinction a 'top driver of global change'

Biodiversity loss from species extinction a 'top driver of global change'



Loss of biodiversity from species extinctions will have a major impact on the planet and could effect the planet as much as climate change or pollution do, according to a new study.

Timber plantations are not forests

Timber plantations are not forests

Environmentalists have always clearly defined commercial plantations and forests. The latter being natural and the former destroying indigenous biodiversity and natural resources with the aim to maximise profits. The social consequences of timber plantations have also displaced communities.

A new weapon against invasive species

A new weapon against invasive species



The proposed Joint Work Programme to improve communication strategies in the global biodiversity community.

Let's save the corals

Let's save the corals

The loss of coral reefs and their attached biodiversity. A study from the Smithsonian, using new techniques such as DNA barcoding, discovered a larger variety of crustacean species in coral reefs than anyone had ever anticipated.

'Minibeasts' rule the world, it seems

'Minibeasts' rule the world, it seems



We look down on it. We trample all over it. We very rarely give it a thought, but, ''most of Earth's biodiversity is found in soil,'' NSF program director Matt Kane states! The NSF (National Science Foundation) in the US are aided and abetted in this study by Colorado State University, riding to the rescue of the unloved soil denizens.

Pollution Postcard from the Great Lakes, some Mercury Rising

Pollution Postcard from the Great Lakes, some Mercury Rising

Organic salts in the form of methyl mercury, threaten the great clean up of the Great Lakes. 170 researchers compiling a third of a million measurements have documented in a major BRI (Biodiversity Research Institute) report exactly how mercury pollution affects the region around the Great Lakes.

Scientists revise long-held beliefs about plant biodiversity and biomass

Scientists revise long-held beliefs about plant biodiversity and biomass



For decades, scientists have believed there is a particular relationship between the biomass produced by plants and the number of different plant species in a given habitat. New research published in the journal Science shows that a long held belief about the relationship between plant biomass and plant diversity is flat wrong.

England's national biodiversity plan

England's national biodiversity plan

The UK government have published a strategy to halt biodiversity decline by 2020, in order to fulfil their commitment under the Convention on Biological Diversity. The strategy includes some ambitious and wide-ranging goals, but are these appropriate?

Botum Sakor National Park: A threatened haven of biodiversity

Botum Sakor National Park: A threatened haven of biodiversity



Situated near the south-western border of Cambodia, at the foot of the Cardamom Mountain range, Botum Sakor National Park provides an astonishing diversity of plant and animal species. However, this extraordinary biodiversity is now severely threatened by a range of anthropogenic disturbances, especially illegal logging.

Marine reserve's dramatic recovery shocks scientists

Marine reserve's dramatic recovery shocks scientists

A local community's dedication led marine reserve Cabo Pulmo to the most dramatic fish recovery scientists have ever seen. Ten years ago, the marine reserve Cabo Pulmo in the Gulf of California struggled for survival but the depleted ecosystem has become a biodiversity hotspot in less than 10 years.

Reserves alone cannot stop biodiversity collapse

Reserves alone cannot stop biodiversity collapse

It's time to ditch the one-strand policy of habitat protection, and move towards reining in human numbers and consumption as well. That's the radical conclusion from a paper published by a pair of respected ecologists in Marine Ecology Progress Series today. A broad review of a century of developing 'protected areas' has shown only local success, with a continuing crash in biodiversity worldwide, the authors say.

New framework helps relocation of species threatened by climate change

New framework helps relocation of species threatened by climate change



A new decision-making framework is providing hope for maintaining biodiversity through shifting species that are affected by climate change. Many species today are struggling to cope with the Earth's rapidly changing climate. As a result biodiversity managers are faced with a major decision on when, if ever, to relocate these species to ensure their survival.

Biodiversity Research Institute studies wind turbine dangers to wildlife

Biodiversity Research Institute studies wind turbine dangers to wildlife



Careful location of renewable energy developments may reduce impacts on birds and bats. Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI) has established a new wildlife and renewable energy program to study and understand the movements of birds and bats and to assess the potential interactions between energy facilities and wildlife.

Rainforest birds rebound in parts of Amazon laid low

Rainforest birds rebound in parts of Amazon laid low

The tragic loss of biodiversity from rainforest destruction can be reversed, says a study just published on PLoS ONE, which recorded a return of tropical birds to parts of the Amazon previously felled. The fragments of Brazilian rainforest that recovered their brightly-colored birds were the larger of those left by the loggers - aided by the regrowth of secondary forest.

Whither biodiversity in climatic uncertainty?

Whither biodiversity in climatic uncertainty?



A new study looks at predicted climatic changes in protected areas of California and attempts to identify the future of species and ecosystems with these variations in foresight. Geographically, the disappearing climates occur in the northern California coast and areas of the Mono Basin, Death Valley, and the south-eastern Great Basin.

Rare butterfly flying high again

Rare butterfly flying high again

Local biodiversity action plan good news for rare butterfly. One of the UK's rarest butterflies is making a comeback thanks to a project by the Forestry Commission. The Pearl-Bordered Fritillary, recognisable by the white 'pearls' on the tips of its wings, was once a common sight in the south English countryside.

South Georgia's unrivaled biodiversity challenged by warming

South Georgia's unrivaled biodiversity challenged by warming



The chilly south Atlantic islands of South Georgia can boast a higher level of biodiversity than some tropical islands, says a new study from the British Antarctic Survey. Published in this week's PloS ONE. Over 1,500 marine species have been collected near the islands over the lat century, but the fastest sea warming in the Southern hemisphere may threaten this biodiversity hot-spot.

How should Pakistan tackle its biodiversity crisis?

How should Pakistan tackle its biodiversity crisis?

Pakistan's government promises financial support for environmental protection, but campaigners argue development is destroying their culture. At a seminar in Peshawar, the government outlined their commitment to protecting threatened species.

Celebrating biodiversity today - putting conservation into politics

Celebrating biodiversity today - putting conservation into politics



May 22 was proclaimed as the International Day of Biodiversity (IDB) by the United Nations. 2011 is also the UN International Year of Forests, and hence forest biodiversity has been chosen by the UN as the theme for this years' IDB.

Is war really good for biodiversity?

Is war really good for biodiversity?

In recent days, WWF and Greenpeace issued a call for the suspension of bluefin fishery in the Mediterranean, as tuna boats headed for the Libyan waters for the fishing season due to open Sunday 15th May. It looks like the Mediterranean tuna fleet is likely to exploit the possibility of unregulated hauls in Libyan waters.

Rock climbing as a threat to cliffs' biological diversity

Rock climbing as a threat to cliffs' biological diversity



Cliffs remain among the few ecosystems to be relatively unaffected by humans. Yet, with current trends, turning rock climbing into a mainstream sport, these ecosystems may be increasingly subject to human pressures and habitat degradation.

Halting biodiversity loss to protect European economies

Halting biodiversity loss to protect European economies

The European Commission lays out 2020 biodiversity strategy to protect Europe's biodiversity. This follows the disappointing results obtained for the 2010 biodiversity plan and the new commitments made by the EU in Nagoya, Japan. The good news is that new strategy takes into account the services provided by nature, which often defy valuation and are increasingly threatened by competing claims on nature and its use.

Australia puts on hold a revamp of environment laws

Australia puts on hold a revamp of environment laws

Environment Minister says reforms must wait two years before being considered. The current legislation in Australia protecting the environment is the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Amongst other things it gives the government's environment minister powers to approve or reject industrial projects that might damage an endangered species or the environment.

Protecting the rainforests: whose responsibility is it?

Protecting the rainforests: whose responsibility is it?



Rainforests: Today, the conservation of this biological diversity is increasingly recognised as a major issue for our society, and through the years it has become a focus of many environmental non-governmental organisations (NGOs), as well as several government authorities throughout the world. A key date in delving support to conservation was the 5th of June 1992 when the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was opened for signature at the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

Mekong freshwater biodiversity threatened by dam project

Mekong freshwater biodiversity threatened by dam project



Fierce opposition is growing over the proposed Xayaburi dam on the Mekong River in Laos, with critics warning that it will have devastating impacts on freshwater biodiversity. Lower Mekong countries, including Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, are scheduled to decide on whether the dam project can move ahead on April 22.

More biodiversity means better water quality and less pollution

More biodiversity means better water quality and less pollution

Biodiversity improves water quality and helps ecosystems to withstand pressures from pollution, according to a new study published yesterday in the journal Nature. In the study, Cardinale demonstrates exactly why streams that have more species are better at removing these nutrient pollutants from the water, confirming that niche differences among species provides the mechanism for biodiversity's cleansing ability.

Traditional cork best for biodiversity conservation

Traditional cork best for biodiversity conservation



Traditional cork bottle stoppers best for biodiversity conservation and economy, according to new study. A new study published in the journal Biological Conservation, proves exactly the opposite, demonstrating that cork extraction is in fact an economic activity that should be promoted for the benefit of biodiversity. The research is the first to look at the impact of cork extraction on biodiversity, using birds as indicators.

Record-breaking 2010 Amazon drought seen from space

Record-breaking 2010 Amazon drought seen from space

Last summer's drought in the Amazon left vast swathes of forest visibly stressed, according to a study of images from 2 NASA satellites. This worryingly matches the predictions of drier, harsher times for one of the world's most biodiverse areas - and sets the scene for possible massive outpouring of CO2.

People-power a win-win for forests and locals

People-power a win-win for forests and locals



When people have a say in managing a forest, it works out to be best for both local forest use, and forest biodiversity, according to a new paper out in Science. With large proportions of threatened tropical forests hemmed in by rising populations, that has important implications for government policies on forest conservation.

Zoos being urged to breed endangered species

Zoos being urged to breed endangered species

Zoos around the world are being asked to team up to shelter and breed endangered animals as a form of biodiversity insurance. The research found that between 20 and 25 percent of endangered species of mammals are already kept at the zoos and just a slightly lower figure for birds. However, the concern is that the species that are facing an acute risk of extinction are not so well represented.

Oil Exploration suspended in Virunga World Heritage Site

Oil Exploration suspended in Virunga World Heritage Site



The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has withdrawn permission that allows companies to drill for oil in Africa's Virunga National Park. Virunga National Park is Africa's first National Park. It has an astonishingly high biodiversity and is home to many rare species including chimpanzees, forest elephants and the endangered eastern gorilla.

Global conservation issues for 2011

Global conservation issues for 2011

15 environmental issues with far-reaching implications for the Earth's biodiversity. In researching this report, the authors aimed to ''identify emerging issues that could have substantial impacts on the conservation of biological diversity and... to encourage policy-relevant, practical research on those issues''.

Why biodiversity really does matter

Why biodiversity really does matter



Super study finds that biodiversity really is worth protecting and could, in fact, be crucial for our very survival. Biodiversity is a green buzzword; something that we should work to protect, but, is biodiversity important for human survival? The answer, according to the latest research, is a resounding yes.

Biodiversity be dammed - plans for Mekong River ignore warnings from failed Thai dam

Biodiversity be dammed - plans for Mekong River ignore warnings from failed Thai dam

The lessons of a failed dam project in Thailand are not being heeded, in plans for a dam on the Mekong River in Laos. The WWF is asking for a 10-year halt to dam projects on the lower Mekong, in order to allow a fuller understanding of what sustainable hydropower projects are feasible. Going ahead now is likely to repeat a ''bitter lose-lose situation.''

Third birthday for Arctic stronghold of biodiversity celebrated with very cautious optimism

Third birthday for Arctic stronghold of biodiversity celebrated with very cautious optimism

With more than 600,000 seeds in cold storage the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which is three years old, is a vital store of genetic diversity. The third anniversary of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault (SGSV) saw yet more seeds arriving at the Arctic stronghold of biodiversity while an important Egyptian collection was looted during the recent revolution and farmers in Australia report almost impossible conditions for agriculture.

New bird discovery raises profile of Madagascar's endangered dry forests

New bird discovery raises profile of Madagascar's endangered dry forests

A new bird, and a new hope for a threatened ecosystem. The Beanka Forest of Madagascar, an area rich in biodiversity, continues to contribute species new to science, heightening concerns about its protection. Local conservation groups are seeking to protect these unique dry forests by enlisting the help of locals, and addressing their needs.

Environmentalists believe sanctuary failing to protect polar bears

Environmentalists believe sanctuary failing to protect polar bears

A conservation group is planning to sue the US government for what they believe is a failure to care for a critical polar bear sanctuary in Alaska. The Centre for Biological Diversity believes that the US Interior Department has allowed harmful oil and gas developments to go ahead and as a result has significantly damaged polar bears habitat in Alaska.

Fish in troubled waters with 30 species endangered

Fish in troubled waters with 30 species endangered

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has done an assessment of India's freshwater biodiversity after 13 years. It has included 30 fish species in the Western Ghats in its critically endangered list.

Advocacy group in Australia calls for global boycott of bluefin tuna

Advocacy group in Australia calls for global boycott of bluefin tuna



The Centre for Biological Diversity in Australia has appealed to the world to boycott bluefin tuna sold in sushi restaurants and in just over a week they already have 20,000 signatures from 91 countries. The price of bluefin tuna has soared this year to over US$170,000 for just one fish. This has created a significant increase in illegal bluefin tuna fishing and as a result there are now grave concerns that the bluefin tuna population is close to extinction.

EU tackles conflict of interest between renewables and biodiversity

EU tackles conflict of interest between renewables and biodiversity



New planning guidelines for wind turbines that are located on biodiversity sites published by the European Commission. In the context of sustainable development, what is more important: renewable energy or biodiversity loss? At first glance the two don't seem mutually exclusive, but they can be in the case of wind turbines. That's why over the years legislation has been put into place to make sure that things like 'bird collision' are avoided.