The Earth’s genes, species and ecosystems are products of over 3 000 million years of evolution, an are the basis for the survival of our own species. Biological biodiversity (often shortened to „biodiversity“) is a measure of the variation in genes, species and ecosystems. It is valuable because:
diversity is the base of the stability and sustainable function of natural systems
of its enormously wide range for potential and unexplored uses
here there is evidence that removal of ecosystem components can have negative impacts, and
variety is inherently interesting and more attractive.
Human intervention has resulted in a profound modification of the origin landscape, through deforestation, agriculture, drainage of wetlands, mining, urbanisation and so on. As a result, many animals and plants had to find refuge in relatively small enclaves, sometimes only secure in legally designated protection areas.
In return, humans have created landscapes serving their own needs: grasslands, pastures and croplands, often intermixed with remaining woodlands and lined with hedges and waterways. Large mammals have retreated to remote remnants of their original habitat, other have become extinct. Many species from distant biogeographic regions of Europe have become established in the newly created environment. Today, the invasion of species as a result of human activities is still continuing and can have negative impact on native populations.
Three kinds of action taken to conserve wildlife and nature can be identified: