Biodiversity is threatened today by the increase in monoculture, overfishing, habitat loss, pollution and climate change. The Earth has experienced five episodes of mass extinction previously, and now we are in the sixth. Experts estimate that 50% of food varieties and around 8000 types of livestock have disappeared in the last century. There are 1600 species either extinct or currently endangered. Biodiversity is important because it spreads risk whilst adopting monocultures heightens risk. When disease, climate change or natural disasters decimate a species, monoculture offers limited options to find alternatives. Nurturing a bio-diverse ecosystem means that there are a bigger variety of strains of species available to select from when the unexpected happens.
Photograph below taken at the Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Research Foundation June 2012