Why Would We Want to Preserve Biodiversity Anyway?

In addition to showing respect for other living organisms on our planet, we should care about biodiversity because it benefits humans in the following ways:

  • Genes: Wild animals and plants are sources of genes for hybridization and genetic engineering.
  • Biological control agents: Some species of living things help us control invasive species without the use of poisons.
  • Food sources: Animals, plants, mushrooms, etc.
  • Natural products: Many of the medicines, fertilizers, and pesticides we use are derived from plants and animals. We also get products such as oils, adhesives, and silk from natural sources.
  • Environmental services: We rely on plants and animals for important processes such as soil aeration, fertilization, and pollination.
  • Enjoyment: Biodiversity is often the subject of aesthetic interest.
  • Scientific interest: The diversity of plants and animals inspires scientific inquiry in many different realms. Evolutionary science, anatomy, physiology, behavior, and ecology are only a few examples.
  • Self-perpetuation: Biologically diverse ecosystems help to preserve their component species, reducing the need for future conservation efforts targeting endangered species.
  • Future potential for even more uses: With new discoveries to come, there will be many more practical reasons to appreciate biodiversity!
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Spanish translation of Understanding Evolution For Teachers from the Spanish Society of Evolutionary Biology.