Biodiversity

We live on a planet full of lots and lots of different living things – magnificent trees and plants, tiny insects, animals big and small some that live in the sea, some up in the trees, under the ground, in the deserts, on the ice…

TOCK learnt that this is called BIODIVERSITY.

Scientists have given names to about 1.75 million different types of living things (species) but 1000’s of new creatures and plants are being found (discovered) and given names (classified) all the time. There could be as many as 100,000,000 different species living on the Earth. That is a gigantic number.

All these different living things are connected and depend on each other to live and grow.

In a forest – the trees provide homes for many creatures, these animals eat the leaves and fruits off the trees and spread the seeds so new trees can grow. The plants and trees need healthy soil. They also need fungi, beetles, worms, millipedes … to breakdown dead leaves which helps to make the soil healthy.

Everything is connected (like in a giant spider’s web) so if one type of plant or animal becomes endangered or disappears then it could affect all the other creatures and plants.

Too many of 1 type of animal could mean there are not enough of another.

Everything needs to be balanced.

Some of the actions people are taking like cutting down too many trees, catching too many fish or polluting the water can affect and hurt other animals, plants and even other people.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP

  • Plant some wildflowers or flowers that attract bees and butterflies in your garden.
  • Build or buy a bee, weta hotel or simply have a stone pile, rocks, logs or small pile of leaves in a section of your garden at home or school to attract lizards, insects and small hibernating animals.
  • Go on a bug hunt or nature scavenger hunt in your area and learn about all the different plants and animals that live nearby.
  • Make a bird feed, bird bath, bird house perhaps out of recycled materials to get birds to visit your garden.
  • Help you family plant a lot of different plants in the garden to provide homes and food for insects, birds and creatures that might live in your area.
  • Learn more about endangered animals and plants.
  • Perhaps join an adopt an animal scheme as a school.
  • Only buy products like palm oil, wood products, fish that have been sustainably grown or caught.