Biodiversity is the variety of all forms of life throughout an ecosystem.
High rates of extinction are quickly reducing biodiversity especially in areas of the world with high human population density and growth.
The direct and indirect effects that humans have had on biodiversity is challenging as can be seen from the following flow chart.
Human Population Size Resources use Land Transformation Land Clearing Forestry Grazing Intensification Biotic Additions and Loss Invasion Hunting Fishing Carbon Nitrogen Water Climate Change Enhanced Greenhouse Aerosols Land cover Loss of Biological Diversity Extinction of species And populations Loss of ecosystems Vitousek et. al (1997) Science, 277, p.494-499 Human Enterprises Agriculture Industry Recreation International Commerce Global Biogeochemistry
Humans Change of the Earth Expressed as % Change Vitousek et. al (1997) Science, 277, p.494-499
Places on earth with some of the greatest biodiversity such as: South America, Equatorial Africa, India, Indonesia and Coastal regions also show the greatest density and fastest rate of growth of people.
Out of some 240 known primate species, 19 are critically endangered, up from 13 in 1996.
Their remaining numbers range from less than a few hundred to, at most, a few thousand individuals.
Includes 8 monkeys from Brazil's Atlantic rainforest, where 97 percent of the forest has been lost, 2 apes and a monkey from Indonesia, 3 monkeys from Viet Nam, 1 each from Kenya and Peru, and 3 lemur species from Madagascar.
In Ghana and parts of the Ivory Coast, the Miss Waldron’s Red Colobus monkey is now extinct.
“ Chimpanzees lived in what was Africa’s great equatorial forest belt, but it’s not belt anymore just pockets of shrinking forest areas…If things carry on at the present rate in 15 years there will be very, very few chimpanzees left.” Jane Goodall