What is biodiversity?
The Australian Government Department of Environment defines biodiversity as follows: Biodiversity is the variety of all life forms on earth – the different plants, animals and micro-organisms and the ecosystems of which they are part.
Why is biodiversity so important?
Biodiversity is both essential for our existence and intrinsically valuable in its own right.
This is because biodiversity provides the fundamental building blocks for the many goods and services a healthy environment provides. These include things that are fundamental to our health, like clean air, fresh water and food products, as well as the many other products such as timber and fibre. Other important services provided by our biodiversity include recreational, cultural and spiritual nourishment that maintain our personal and social well-being. Looking after our biodiversity is therefore an important task for all people.
Australia is one of the world’s hotspots for biodiversity. In fact, Australia is one of only 17 “megadiverse” nations and is home to more species than any other developed country. What is striking is the number of endemic species in Australia – species which occur nowhere else on the planet. Most of Australia’s wildlife is found nowhere else in the world, making its conservation even more important. 87% of our mammal species, 93% of reptiles, 94% of frogs and 45% of our bird species are found only in Australia.
Sadly, however, our unique biodiversity is under threat and facing an extinction crisis. More than 1,700 species and ecological communities are known to be threatened and at risk of extinction. Australia has the worst mammal extinction rate in the world: 30 native mammals have become extinct since European settlement. To put this in a global context, 1 out of 3 mammal extinctions in the last 400 years have occurred in Australia.
The main threats to our biodiversity are:
- loss, fragmentation and degradation of habitat;
- the spread of invasive species;
- unsustainable use of natural resources;
- climate change;
- changes to the aquatic environment and water flows.
Greenfleet's Biodiversity Conservation Efforts
All our planting projects take into consideration the biodiversity values of the area and we aim to conserve Australia and New Zealand's unique flora and fauna heritage.
Greenfleet has many examples of projects where rare, threatened or endangered species have been protected thanks to our native revegetation projects.
Click on the links below to read more:
* Source: Australian Government Department of Environment ; Biodiversity Conservation 2014