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Biodiversity: is the variation of life
forms within a given ecosystem,
biome, or for the entire Earth.
• genetic
• species
• ecosystem
 Human uses
2. Drugs
3.Raw materials for manufacturing
4. Rapidly growing leisure industry
Eco-tourism which is based on the observation
of wild animals and wilderness habitats
generates billions US dollars profit annually.
 Non-Human use
nutrient cycling
soil formation
watershed protection
waste disposal
oxygen production
carbon dioxide absorption
climate regulation
However, we humans are facing serious threats to
the survival of biodiversity.
Increasing numbers of species disappearing every day.
Extinction of different kinds of organisms has been
much greater than before. A variety of human activities
are the main causes.
Current rates of extinctions are alarmingly high.
The extinction rate for birds and mammals was about 1
species every decade from 1600 to 1700.
But, it rose 4 species every year between 1986 and
Apparently, the rate of extinction is accelerating.
 1.Habitat degradation
(1) destruction
(2) pollution e.g. pesticides,
sewages, combustions
(3) human disruption
e.g. mining for fossil fuels
(4) habitat fragmentation
(diving up the habitat
into small isolated
(5) over-hunting
Rapid human population growth
(1)Demand on food
destruction of habitat of animal for cultivation
remove various species of plant of that habitat
cultivate single species of plant
cannot maintain the gene pool
(2)Demand on places
deforestation / logging
commercial building, building up the societies.
supply furniture
have to kill or expel animals
Cultivation for food
African elephants lost a large piece of land
Number of African elephant decrease
fall to the edge of extinction
p.s. Overexploitation for elephants’ tusk (ivory)
Global warming
 climate change
 melting of ice in polar
 Polar bears cannot find floating ice in Arctic Ocean
 2.Species overexploitation
Species that are hunted or harvested by humans.
There are many examples of overexploitation:
(1)passenger pigeons
(3)sharks e.g. fins
(4)commercial fish such as Atlantic bluefin tuna
(5)coral fishes e.g. Humphead wrasse(蘇眉).
(6)lion,fox,raccoon e.g. fur
(7)elephant e.g. Craft work: Ivory tusk
 3.Introduced species
The introduction of exotic species is a potent
threat to biodiversity.
the endemic species in that ecosystem that
have not evolved to
cope with the exotic species
 became the prey of the exotic ones.
E.g. African bees, Dodo bird
 Threatens the economy
The depletion of fish stocks from overfishing and
illegal fishing to agricultural activities polluting river
Economy is directly dependent on natural resources
for their livelihoods
 Affecting the life support
 Collapse of ecosystem
-Food web is affected
-The keystone species may be removed
-Greater competition and predation
 Policy level
-Banning of Over-exploitation
-The bodies such as the International Whaling
Commission and the Convention on International
Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
 Conservation
-Green lobbies and Government
-conservation of endanger organisms
-116 species of European farmland birds are now of
conservation concern Green lobbies and Government
 Sustainable development
-unprecedented collective effort is needed to return
human use of natural resources to within sustainable
-maintaining a certain process of ecosystems and
-A long-sighted policy which is benefic for our
offspring and also the environment
-resources must be used at a rate at which they can
be replenished
-maintain the gene pool continuously
E.g. eco-municipalities, sustainable cities
 Smart growth
-An urban planning and transportation theory that
concentrates growth in the center of a city to avoid
urban sprawl
E.g.(1)neighborhood schools
(2)complete streets
(3)mixed-use development
(4)regional considerations of sustainability
 Our response as individuals
-Change our Lifestyle
-E.g. Don’t use the wood from sustainable forestry
and recycle our news-paper and don’t use the
toxic chemicals which are harmful to wildlife in
our home
-Caring for the living world around us
-being volunteers and supporting the conservation
organizations or green lobbies