Biodiversity and the environment are one of the cornerstones of a stable ecosystem, which, among other things, provide people with countless so-called ecosystem services, and thus biodiversity also provide benefits to our society. Such services include, for example, food, water, climate control, but also soil regeneration or recreation.
However, the ecosystem is stable in its diversity, where each species and element have its function. If it disappears, the environment may become more susceptible to sudden and rapid changes and lose its previous functionality. The extinction of only one species or element can cause the number of changes, which may occur after a longer period of time, and even at distant places from the occurrence of the affected species. An example of this are whales, whose populations have been significantly reduced by humans. This caused lower food supply for killer whales, which started to look for its pray in the sea kelp forests off the west coast of North America, where they have begun fishing sea otters. With the subsequent decline of sea otters, sea urchins grazed local sea kelp forests, and the environment for man species of animals, including fish that eat and humans, disappeared.
This word has many definitions but it could be summarized as the diversity of all life on Earth – animals, plants and microorganisms, including gene variability within species, between species and, last but not least, the ecosystems that shape life on Earth.
The precise number of species on Earth is only estimated, but there are 8 to 15 million species, of which only about 1.2 million are described by humans.
Information on whether a particular species is endangered can be found in the Red List of Threatened Species (IUCN), which is maintained by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The status of each assessed species tells us about the degree of extinction risk. There are seven categories: least concern, nearly threatened, vulnerable, endangered, critically endangered, extinct in the wild, extinct.
By 2020, the Red List assessed the endangerment of 134,400 species, of which 37,400 are more or less endangered. Of which angiosperms 19,518, fish 3,040, amphibians 2,390, molluscs 2,300, insects 1,848, birds 1,481, reptiles 1,449, mammals 1,317, crustaceans 742, legumes 403, ferns and their relatives 265, corals 237, spiders 203 etc.
For more information, visit the Red List of Threatened Species website: www.iucnredlist.org