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Decline in Biodiversity: Causes and Impacts

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Environmental Studies
Wordcount: 1629 words Published: 18th May 2020

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Nowadays, we see how human population is growing then we see many changes in animals, climate and more. However, everyone should question about biodiversity. What is it? And why it should be important? According to the American Museum of natural history, It explains that biodiversity is the living organism’s variability in any natural environment. It explains that  we can find biodiversity in one specie as well as different specie which will form a ecosystem. The ecosystem is the community of those species that live, contribute and develop in that environment.

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 Biodiversity is essential to maintain the life in earth and it also has important values such as: social, economics, scientific, education, cultural and much more. Biodiversity assumes a significant job in the working of biological systems and in the numerous administrations they give. Among these are the supplement cycle and the water cycle, soil arrangement and maintenance, protection from intrusive species, plant fertilization, atmosphere guideline, bother control and contamination. The case of ecosystem services, what matters is not only the number of species present but also which species are abundant.

 Everyone should be worrying about that we could lost biodiversity in many ecosystem. It will lead to harm the benefits that ecosystem provide to the people. Many advantages that the biological system give to individuals are: food security, prevent weakness to catastrophic events, vitality security and access to clean water and crude materials. However, Society frequently has issues conflicting those objectives, huge numbers of them incorporates biodiversity. At the point when individuals adjusts an environment to improve one of the administrations it gives, its activity regularly carries changes to other biological system administrations.

 For instance, measures to expand nourishment generation can bring about less water accessible for different employments. Because of these negative partners, numerous administrations have been corrupted; for instance, angling, water supply and insurance against catastrophic events. In the long term, the value of lost services can far outweigh the benefits that are obtained in the short term by transforming ecosystems.

 The damage caused to biodiversity affects not only the species that inhabit a particular place, but also damages the network of relationships between the species and the environment in which they live. Due to deforestation and fires, many species have become extinct before they could be studied, or before any action was taken to try to preserve them.

We can affirm that biodiversity is not only significant for human beings, but that it is essential for the life of the planet, so we must try to preserve it. The biodiversity of the species provides us with necessary goods such as food or oxygen, provides us with raw materials that favor economic development, produces energy that we use as fuel, is the origin of some medicines and, finally, but no less important , we are filled with the retina of beautiful landscapes that we can enjoy.

There are six main principles that causes a lost in biodiversity and it affects the ecosystem.

Habitat destruction

It is the result of changes in land use, whether due to agricultural crops, urban expansion, road construction or other causes. It is the main cause of loss of biodiversity in Latin America, it depends on both local factors and economic pressures and demand for resources that are not local (Simonetti and Dirzo, 2011). In addition to losing net amount of natural habitat, land use change processes form habitat fragments of different sizes and distance from each other. The smallest often do not have the viability to maintain populations of species or ecological processes necessary, so there are extinctions or loss of local environmental services.

Overexploitation and extinction of species

The extinction of species is due to multiple aspects. The main one surely, it is the loss of habitat. But, the direct pressures such as overexploitation and legal and illegal trade have a huge impact on certain groups of species. It has a great impact especially in cacti , orchids or showy birds and also those used for food. One example for food is the overexploited fishery resources.

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One problem we face is that the disappearance of species and populations may be faster through generation. It violates our ability to respond. A case that illustrates this is the San Ignacio del Huinay biological station that began operating in December 2001 on the mainland of Chile in front of Chiloé. It is an area of scarce accessibility very biodiverse and poorly studied. Thanks to its scientific impulse, more than 50 new underwater species have been identified. However, during the course of a decade the disappearance of complete banks of cold water corals has been detected, largely affected by the salmon industry and bivalves in the area.

Population is growing dramatically. Then, the population have to expand in order to live. However, They are causing a great impact on the ecosystem. The creating of new roads and development of projects affects many numbers of species that live in that ecosystem. Many of those species will be extinct because their habitat is destroyed. Another important factor is the deterioration of forest, by cutting trees down to create those projects and roads, we are destroying many ecosystem.


Pollution is the presence of a physical, chemical or biological agent – or a combination of several agents – in concentrations that are or may be harmful to the health, safety or welfare of the population, or that may be harmful for plant or animal life, in a terrestrial environment, of continental or marine waters. Common and everyday pollutants are domestic and industrial solid wastes, excess fertilizer and chemicals, sewage drains to the sea or rivers, carbon monoxide from vehicles, etc. The contamination can also be radioactive, thermal (emission of high temperature fluids in water courses or at sea), acoustic, light and even visual.

Globally, the “World Energy Outlook Special Report” (IEA, 2016), of the International Energy Agency, reports that every day 18,000 people die from causes associated with air pollution, that is, a total of 6, 5 million people every year.The problem has become the fourth risk factor for human health, overcoming tuberculosis or HIV. Of the total number, 3.5 million deaths are linked to the use of biomass for cooking and kerosene to illuminate homes in poor areas, while three million are due to the breathing of polluted air, especially in large cities. To reduce the figure, the IEA proposes strong commitments to 2040.

conserve biodiversity

Inform the society as a whole about the benefits that are derived from the conservation of biodiversity and openly and with an overall vision the counterparts that arise when favoring some options to the detriment of others, helps to optimize the benefits for society. Recovering an ecosystem is generally much more expensive than protecting the original ecosystem, although it is becoming increasingly important as the number of degraded areas increases. Rhett Harrison, a tropical biologist, proposes that achievement ought not be estimated on the measure of land being ensured yet rather on the viability of implementation of regulations. For example, weekends that carefully rebuff people selling bramble meat in urban territories could be one measure for accomplishing this end. Moreover, there must likewise be a push to advance instruction and show neighborhood governments how significant environments are to their economy.

It is necessary to face the direct and indirect generators that trigger the loss of biodiversity for better protection of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Possible measures may consist of eliminating harmful subsidies, fostering sustainable intensive agriculture, curbing the increase in the level of nutrients in water and soils, assessing the total economic value of ecosystem services and making transparent the processes of making decisions. Protected areas are a key aspect of conservation programs, but they are not enough to protect biodiversity in its entirety, and they are not always respected. To obtain results, it is necessary to carefully choose the location of the protected areas, ensuring that all the ecosystems in the area have adequate representation.


  • N. (n.d.). Retrieved July 27, 2019, from https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/biodiversity/elements_of_biodiversity/
  • Fao.org. (n.d.). The State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture 2019. Retrieved July 27, 2019, from http://www.fao.org/state-of-biodiversity-for-food-agriculture/en/
  • Lazarus, E., Lin, D., Martindill, J., Hardiman, J., Pitney, L., & Galli, A. (2015, June 09). Biodiversity Loss and the Ecological Footprint of Trade. Retrieved July 27, 2019, from https://www.mdpi.com/1424-2818/7/2/170/htm
  • San Ignacio de Huinay Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved July 27, 2019, from http://www.huinay.cl/site/en/
  • (n.d.). What is Biodiversity?: AMNH. Retrieved July 27, 2019, from https://www.amnh.org/research/center-for-biodiversity-conservation/about-the-cbc/what-is-biodiversity


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