What does it mean?• Biological diversity… – Species diversity – Genetic diversity – Ecosystem diversity• About 1.4 million species have been described by science, est’d. 10 to 15 million on Earth.• http://tinyurl.com/283be52• What does “endemic” mean?
Species change over time• Most species that evolve on Earth eventually become extinct as conditions change• Scientists have identified at least five major extinction events over the last 500 million years or so, the last one about 65 million years ago when 75% of species became extinct, including most of the dinosaurs• Today – a human-caused extinction event? About 20% of vertebrates are threatened.
We are losing biodiversity• Species extinction due to a variety of human influences…• H = Habitat Destruction & Degradation• I = Introduced and/or Invasive Species• P = Pollution• P = Population Growth• O = Over-consumption
Counting the loss• Famous human-caused extinctions… dodo, passenger pigeon, many island bird species.• Some of Africa’s animals are on the brink… black rhinos, the African wild dog, several species of frogs & toads, turtles, and fish.
Species Under Stress• Threatened species – IUCN Red List• http://www.iucnredlist.org/• Video http://www.iucnredlist.org/news/evolution- lost
Why it matters• Extinction is forever• "When we try to pick out anything [in nature] by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” – John Muir• Ethical considerations – is destruction permissible? Especially unnecessary destruction?
2010 was Intl Year of Biodiversity• http://www.unep.org/iyb/• Ilcp video… http://vimeo.com/11499468
I=PxAxT• Impact on ecosystems• Is a function of all three factors… – Population – Affluence (consumption) – Technology
Protection for endangered species• How can biodiversity be preserved?• Saving the black rhino…• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilF0nU_d0 CY&feature=player_embedded#!
Biodiversity in RI• Bioblitz• http://www.rinhs.org/what-we-do/bioblitz/• Group research• Mammals, birds, trees, fish, reptiles & amphibians, insects• Bird video http://www.youtube.com/mjgvideo#p/u/2/0Gyn sgOJkWg• Do we have endangered species in RI? Do we have invasive species?
Learn more about biodiversity• E.O. Wilson• Umich.edu lesson http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalch ange2/current/lectures/biodiversity/biodiversi ty.html• http://www.biodiversityhotspots.org