What is biodiversity and why does it matter? — Ducks Unlimited Canada Skip to main content

What is biodiversity and why does it matter?

Our health and well-being depend on thriving ecosystems

Biodiversity is the collection of life that makes up our natural world.

This includes the variety of plants, animals, fungi and microorganisms that work together to create healthy, balanced ecosystems that sustain life.

Biodiversity is important because it supports everything in nature that we need to survive and has a direct impact on our health and well-being. It provides food, fresh water, shelter, energy and medicine. Biodiversity also supports business and recreational activities that contribute to the economy.


Five major threats to biodiversity

Up to one million plant and animal species are at risk of extinction, many within decades, according to a recent United Nations report. This sobering statistic underscores the significant decline in global biodiversity. What’s causing populations of so many species to decline?

The short answer is us. Humans.

  1. Habitat loss and degradation:

    When areas containing wildlife habitat are destroyed, they no longer provide the food, water and shelter species need to survive.

  2. As global temperatures rise and extreme weather events become more frequent and severe, many species cannot adapt and their populations plummet.

  3. Pollution:

    Contaminants that enter our air, soil and water can pose serious problems for ecosystems and the species that inhabit them.

  4. Invasive species often have no native predators, allowing them to outcompete native plants and animals. This loss of biodiversity can reduce the resiliency of native ecosystems and disrupt food webs.

  5. Species over-exploitation:

    The overuse of wild plants and animals by people depletes populations, taking more from nature than it can provide.

Mallard hen sitting in shoreline pollution.
A turtle sunning itself on a log in a healthy wetland
A turtle sunning itself on a log in a healthy wetland © DUC

DUC’s approach to solving the biodiversity crisis

DUC and our conservation partners are bringing life back to threatened ecosystems through habitat protection and restoration. We believe the battle for biodiversity can be won when citizens worldwide understand the value of nature. Solutions to halt and reverse the alarming trend of species loss are in sight, and we’re hard at work delivering them.

We are focused on the future; this is our approach to safeguarding biodiversity.

See Our Approach

COP15: An opportunity to protect nature and species at risk

The UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP-15 is being held in Montreal from December 7 – 19, 2022. Here, global leaders will come together to develop a plan to tackle the biodiversity crisis.

COP15 is an unprecedented opportunity to make new commitments that will protect nature and species at risk. We are proud to be part of the global conservation community that’s urging COP15 delegates to change how nature is prioritized in policy and public investment.


What is Ducks Unlimited Canada doing to support biodiversity?

The conservation actions required to halt and reverse biodiversity have been core to the work that we have been doing for decades.

Read about our multi-pronged approach to biodiversity that includes research, education, advocacy, industry partnerships, and landscape-scale conservation operations.


More ecosystems where we are making an impact

Our conservation efforts impact diverse areas across the entire country—including your community.

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