Habitat loss and degradation
Climate change, as a result of our pollution, is also warming the planet and forcing wildlife to move in search of suitable habitat. The change in wildlife habitats is creating an added challenge in tracking their movements.
Invasive plants and animals
Invasive weeds and pests also represent a major threat world-wide to native wildlife and plants. Invasive plants and animals degrade or replace the original natural habitats. In Australia, non-native cats, foxes, pigs and rabbits are just a few of the invasive species killing or out-competing native species. Climate change is also expected to give invasive species an added advantage.
Click here to read more about invasive plant and animal species.
WWF’s conservation work places a high priority on protecting critical wildlife habitats through strengthening legislation or establishing new protected areas.
When we protect the habitat, we protect the resident animal and plant species, and ensure that they will always have a safe haven.
Often declaring a protected area is just the beginning in terms of reducing the threats native wildlife face.
Protected areas and production areas, alike, still need to be managed well to control the damaging impacts of weeds, feral pests and inappropriate fire regimes.
The biodiversity footprint of land use change
Soon we will be able to put a figure on how much different land uses have depleted native animal and plant biodiversity, and how much of this footprint could be avoided or reduced by adopting better land use practices.
What is Biodiversity?
The benefits of biodiversity
Natural habitats protect genetic resources for agriculture and health; protect communities from floods and tsunamis; protect healthy populations of exploited plants and animals; offer pollination services, carbon sequestration, clean air and water; and support eco-tourism. The list is long.
Multi-billion-dollar pharmaceutical and agricultural industries critically depend on access to wild genetic resources. With every hectare of rainforest cleared or coral reef lost, we limit our options for curing diseases and feeding the world.