Biodiversity refers to the various living organisms on earth and their interactions (Sechrest & Brooks, 2002). Biodiversity is essential for ensuring sustainability of life. However, various factors such as population increase and technological advancement have threatened biodiversity. The following section evaluates some of the major threats to biodiversity. Moreover, the paper considers how governments and organizations may help in curbing threats to biodiversity.
The major threats to biodiversity include habitat loss, the introduction of alien and invasive species and pollution (Sherman, 2002; Stein & Kutner, 2000). Habitat loss involves land conversion for other uses (Dale, 2015). Consequently, the natural habitat is lost together with the ecosystems it supported. Sechrest and Brooks (2002) explain that the relative loss of biodiversity is directly proportional to the natural habitat lost. Wong (2012) defines pollution as chemicals introduced in ecosystems that have adverse effects on them. Pollution results in changes in such as light intensity, sedimentation, temperature and nutrient load and air pollution. Consequently, the ecological conditions are altered often resulting in mortality and alteration of processes necessary for the sustenance of an ecosystem.
The introduction of alien species results in the alteration of ecosystem balancing that may cause the threat of extinction (Wong, 2012). An introduction of alien species results in such as increased predation, competition that alters the balancing in an ecosystem. Dale (2015) further explains that invasive alien species may introduce pathogens that cause mortality to the previously existing species. The most harmful threat to biodiversity is habitat Loss (Stein & Kutner, 2000). Habitat loss occurs at a high rate due to increased population growth and technological advancement that results in
heightened exploitation. Consequently, there is a complete loss of an ecosystem or change in its components, which is harmful to some of its species.
The government, non-profit organizations and the international community can help curb the various threats through biodiversity endowment. The government, both state and local can formulate and implement policies that promote protection of biodiversity such as regulation of water and land use and development of plans to protect the natural habitat (Stein & Kutner, 2000). Non-profit organizations may help curb biodiversity threats through promoting public education regarding biodiversity loss and threats. The international community should foster ways of preventing pollution that is often an element of climatic change.
Dale, L. (2015). Environmental policy (2nd ed.). San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Sechrest, W. W., & Brooks, T. M. (2002). Biodiversity–threats. eLS.
Sherman, D. M. (2002). Tending animals in the global village: A guide to international veterinary medicine. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Stein, B. A., & Kutner, L. S. (Eds.). (2000). Precious Heritage: The Status of Biodiversity in the United States: The Status of Biodiversity in the United States. Oxford University Press, USA.
Wong, C. (2012). Guidance for the Preparation of ESTR Products-Classifying Threats to Biodiversity. Canadian Councils of Resource Ministers.