The Importance of Biological Diversity and Habitats
A habitat is a place where a plant, animal, or a biological community lives. Biological diversity, or biodiversity, refers to the varieties of life forms or the web of life. It encompasses ecosystems, communities, individual species, and the genetic variations of individual organisms. The importance of biodiversity in the environment has come to be widely accepted over the last three decades. Biodiversity has been recognized as an indicator of ecosystem health, a reservoir for agricultural variety, a source of medicines, a supporter of watershed quality, a mediator against human disease and disease vectors, and an aesthetic and educational resource (Jakim & Mcglinn, 2008).
Monarch Butterflies and Biodiversity
The Monarch butterfly is an emblematic flagship species, an ambassador to the natural world and our the need to protect biodiversity. Like some very roughly estimated 30% of the species on this planet, the Monarch butterfly is imperiled or threatened with extinction. Its population size is down to 5% of what it was in the 1990s, and without action there is a strong possibility that the world will be missing this species come 2050. The very same problems endangering monarch butterflies are imperiling flora, fauna, and biodiversity around the world: namely Habitat loss, Climate Change, Pollution, Over-exploitation of resources, and Overpopulation.
Monarch butterflies are also an umbrella species in the sense that protecting monarch butterflies protects and benefits all of the flora and fauna associated with monarch butterfly habitats such as meadows, farms, gardens, roadsides, waste places, and edges. Such efforts help to protect the health and resilience of local ecosystems offset environmental harms and risks to our region's biological diversity.
Planning for Biodiversity
The Monarch Alliance is actively studying biodiversity on the Port Washington peninsula to advise the Town of North Hempstead about where and how to conserve it. Join the Monarch Butterfly Alliance and the ReWild Initiative to explore our local natural habitats, attend nature walks, put plants into the ground, and create habitats that will enhance our region's biological diversity and resilience.
Select Species of Interest
on the Port Washington Peninsula
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