I. What is Biodiversity? Biodiversity is the diversity of living things found in the natural world.

II. Why Care About Biodiversity?

A. Instrumental Value
1. Ecosystem Sustainability
2. Sources of Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture, and Animal Husbandry
3. Sources of Medicine
4. Recreational Value
5. Aesthetic Value
6. Scientific Value
7. Commercial Value - ecotourism

B. Intrinsic Value
1. Do species other than humans have inherent rights?

III. The Decline of Biodiversity

A. Cause of Biodiversity Loss

1. Physical Alteration of Habitat
a. Conversion
b. Fragmentation
c. Simplification

2. The Population Factor
3. Pollution
4. Exotic Species
5. Overuse

Fig. 11.9 Fully one-third of over 20,000 species of plants and animals surveyed were found by biologists to be at risk of extinction.
Fig. 11.10 Species introductions, habitat destruction and hunting have brought about the majority of known animal extinctions since 1600. (From World Conservation Monitoring Centre.)
Fig. 11.12 Uncertainty about the extent of species becoming extinct is reflected in the width of the species curve.
IV. Consequences of Biodiversity Loss

A. Keystone Species
B. Loss of Natural Habitats and the Goods and Services They Provide.

V. Steps to Protect Biodiversity

A. Attitude - people have to care
B. Endangered Species Act - 1973
C. Convention on Trade in Endangered Species
D. Convention on Biological Diversity