Family Science

What is Biodiversity?

by rockprogram on Mar. 1st, 2014 No Comments

Ducks

Many scientists are saying Biodiversity is vital to protecting our planet. What does that mean? Biodiversity is basically a list of everything living in a specific area from plants and animals down to fungus and microbes. Looking at those lists, we find complex relationships between species that help make an environment stable. Sounds like a huge task, but how can we help? The good news is that there are many citizen projects, such as Bioblitz, that anyone can join to help map the Biodiversity of our world.

White Poppy

Biodiversity: Why?

So, the species in an environment have a connection, but how does that affect us? For people, we depend on biodiversity for food, medicine, materials for building, clean water and air and resistance to disease, among many other needs for survival. Studying Biodiversity helps scientists to see how species work together and how we can keep different species from disappearing in order to keep life on Earth stable.

Bioblitz!

Coyote

A Bioblitz is an event where scientists, naturalists and volunteers survey a particular area for a short period of time, recording all the living species they find. It is like a festival where the public is invited to take interest in their local biodiversity. Participants enjoy the chance to connect with scientists in their own neighborhoods, get outside and see the amazing life nearby, learn how to survey an area for species, and experience the joy of finding recognizable and uncommon species.

National Geographic’s official Bioblitz 2014 is in Golden Gate National Parks on March 28th and 29th! Go to their website for further information.

Can’t make it to on those dates? No problem! California Academy of Sciences has several ongoing Citizen Science projects to study biodiversity near San Francisco. Find information here to see how you can get involved anytime.

Turtles

Find those reptiles!

California Academy of Sciences has a tremendous number of species on display, separated into their particular environments. Some scientists search for only one category of species when studying environments. Become a Herpetologist and take your family on a Reptile Scavenger Hunt. Take a closer look at those reptiles and see how they have adapted to fit into their preferred habitat.

Explore an Online World of Biodiversity.

The American Museum of Natural History has an entire kids website dedicated to Biodiversity. From games to books to interviews and quizzes, this website has so much to offer! Go to their website for all the activities appropriate for all age ranges.


image credits:
Female Mallard and Ducklings in Golden Gate Park Brocken Inaglory
White Poppy David Besa
Urban Coyote John Picken
Spreckles Pond Turtles David Ohmer

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