Nature's diversity should be admired and enjoyed instead of destroyed. Destruction of your own habitat is like committing suicide. There is ample evidence that substantial biological diversity keeps an ecosystem healthy, or even stronger: is necessary to let the ecosystems provide their services. Now and again a new species is discovered (which is not the same as evolved), but the species extinction rate has never been so high. This leads to an enormous biodiversity loss of which the consequences will be devastating when irreversible. An increase of new species and loss of other species is inseparabe from the evolutionary cycle, but when the ratio is off balance changes will take place. Of course the global loss of biodiversity is important, but the local diversity of flora and fauna is what really counts. On a local scale flora and fauna together form an ecosystem. So, disturbances on a local scale will affect the ecosystem and its services, like (clean) water, food (nutrient balance), medicine and diseases. This will be noticeable not only for researchers but also for the general public.
The blue dart-poison frog (formerly known as Dendrobates azureus but now considered a color variety of D. tinctorius), found in lowland forests of South America in the Guyanas and adjacent Brazil, is threatened with extinction. It contains several toxins called alkaloids in its skin that have been useful tools for understanding how local anesthetics, and some drugs like phencyclidine (PCP or “angel dust”), work. Its vivid colouring is a warning that it is dangerous to eat.
So, what drives species to extinction? There seems to be consensus regarding climate change, long distance transport of products and animals, human travel, land use and urbanisation being the main driving forces for the current observed biodiversity loss. All in all this makes man the cause of the high rate of species extinction. This is not being done on purpose, but out of ignorance. At least that is what I hope, and which makes the current biodiversity loss collateral damage. Unforeseen, but nevertheless substantial and possibly devastating.
People should be made aware of this black future that will become reality if we do not stop this uncontrolled negative influence on nature and its biological diversity. Therefore I plead for moral and financial support for those people and organisations, including non-governmental, that are trying to raise this awareness and do something to reduce the loss of biological diversity. For instance organisations involved in nature and wildlife conservation, climate change reduction, and campaigns against environmental pollution.
Statements like the following, displayed in the American Museum of Natural History in New York, could raise this awareness:
Human health & Biodiversity: The disruption of ecosystems adversely affects food supplies and water quality and quantity. Damage to ecosystems can cause changes in disease ecology, leading to the emergence of rare and unknown diseases or the resurgence of diseases that were previously controlled. Lost species means lost raw materials for present and potential pharmaceuticals and alternative therapies. Also lost are models through which we learn about human physiology and organisms whose study allows us to make predictions about the agents and carriers of disease. We lose future raw materials for new processes and products of biotechnology, many of which are critical to understanding, preventing and curing diseases. We lose indicators of the ability of ecosystems to support life of all kinds including human life. Finally, living in a world lacking the beauty and tranquillity inherent in diverse intact ecosystems has profound effect on our mental health.
Otherwise the message of Eric Chivian in this video should do the trick:
Dr. Eric Chivian, Director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard Medical School, explains how polar bears offer us the opportunity to unlock some medical mysteries but we must do so before polar bears are gone forever or take steps quickly to ensure their survival. Studying polar bears in the wild has the potential to unlock medical secrets related to osteoporosis, kidney disease and renal failure, and obesity.
Or perhaps this might help: