Our Earth is home to an incredible variety of life. This variety of life is known as biodiversity.
Not only does biodiversity create stunning and diverse natural environments, it also plays an important role in maintaining human health and well-being. The interaction between species and their habitats forms processes that sustain life, like purifying water, breaking down waste and regulating the climate.
Earth’s biodiversity is under threat
Sadly, Earth’s biodiversity is under threat due to the overwhelming impact of humans. The destruction of natural habitats, introduction of foreign species, pollution, human-induced climate change and over-exploitation of natural resources is causing large-scale biodiversity loss.
Species are becoming extinct at an alarming rate, increasing by between 1,000 to 10,000 times compared to natural rates. Iconic species of rhinos, dolphins, birds and frogs have become extinct in the past decade.
Biodiversity in Australia
From rocky red outcrops, luscious forests and magnificent coasts, Australia is home to some of the world’s largest and most unique examples of biodiversity. In fact, this country is so biodiverse that around 150,000 species have been identified and this is thought to be only about 25% of the total number present.
Unfortunately, Australia has suffered many species extinctions. In the past 200 years, we have lost more mammal species than all the other continents combined, with at least one extinction occurring every decade. Now, with 21% of Australian species listed as threatened, this devastating rate of loss is likely to continue.
Conserving Australia’s biodiversity
Australia’s abundant biodiversity puts us in a prime position to demonstrate world leadership in providing a high standard of protection for our wildlife and environment. In doing so, we can help slow the rate of species loss and protect the services that our natural ecosystems provide to our communities and economy.