Biodiversity resource links are found here and throughout the pages in our
"The Threatened Biosphere"
- by Edward O. Wilson
to Save the Diversity of Life
- by Robert M. Riordan/NatureServe
(World Resources Institute)
Biological Diversity: What
it is and why it is important.
Ecosystems and Habitats.
Biological Diversity is divided
into genetic diversity, species diversity, ecosystem diversity, and cultural
Relative number of described species in major taxa (categories)
life on earth into main categories (or taxa) of living things. Find
out how humans are distinguished from other living organisms. See a
listing of described species by type.
Atlas of Biodiversity - Interactive map. Click on main
categories to see sub-categories for a selection of maps to display.
Information is provided for each subject below the map as new maps are
(U.S. Geological Survey)
Website links and information on General Biodiversity, Genetic Diversity,
Species Diversity (all Biota, Viruses, Protists, Fungi, Plants, Animals),
Ecological or Ecosystem Diversity, Geopolitical Perspectives
(geographic/political focus), Systematics/Taxonomy (identification,
description, naming, classification of the world's biota), and Collections
of the world's known biodiversity (museums, zoos, arboreta, botanical
gardens, research collections).
Living Things: An Introduction to the Principles of Taxonomy
With a Focus on Human Classification Categories
Internet Resources for Biological Taxonomy and Classification
(BioNET International - the global network for taxonomy)
The IUCN Red List of
(IUCN - International Union for Conservation
of Nature and Natural Resources)
IUCN works together with the world's leading
scientists in assessing the status of species, subspecies, varieties and
subpopulations of biodiversity on a global scale. The taxa assessed
for the (IUCN) Red List are the
bearers of genetic diversity and the building blocks of ecosystems, and
information on their conservation status and distribution provides the
foundation for making informed decisions about preserving biodiversity from
local to global levels.
Center for Biological Diversity
Efforts are underway by some groups to
weaken the Endangered Species Act, which was put into place to protect
threatened and endangered species from extinction. The Center for
Biological Diversity is fighting to keep and improve the laws that protect
Click on links at top of page for information on (includes pictures)
Amphibians, Birds (Marine, Pacific Islands, Raptors, Songbirds), Fish (Anadromous,
Desert Fish, Trout, other Native Fish), Invertebrates, Mammals (Marine,
Predators, Other), Plants, and Reptiles.
Click on links on side of page for:
ESA Fact Sheet - Learn information about the Endangered Species Act and what
the Center for Biological Diversity is doing to fight for laws that protect
Nature's Finest Forests - Click on the U.S. map to bring up photos.
Links to facts on Polar Bears, Condor, Oceans and General information.
(The Fact Sheets are in .pdf format - wait for them to load into your
Biodiversity - Everything Counts!
(Kids pages from the American Museum of Natural History)
Biodiversity Information Network (REMIB) is a shared computerized
system of biological information (it includes databases of a curatorial,
taxonomic, ecological, cartographic, bibliographic, ethno-biological type,
use of catalogues on natural resources and other subject matters), based on
an academic inter-institutional decentralized and international
organization, formed by research and higher education centers, both public
and private, that possess both scientific biological collections and data
banks." "Gathering these collections in an information network allows
not only for the connection of the main databanks, the updating of
information and direct contact with specialists, but also access, exchange
and consultation of data open to the public in general throughout the
Institution National Museum of Natural History Human Origins Program
In Search of What Makes us Human
Resources - National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)
A major challenge of the Human Genome Project is to organize, analyze, and
interpret the data emerging from worldwide sequencing projects into a "human
blueprint." NCBI's website is being used
by biomedical researchers from around the world to assist in their research
efforts in deciphering the human genetic code. Sequencing
of the human genome signifies the beginning of an exciting new era of
science in providing new insights into human biology and new approaches for
Talking Glossary of Genetic Terms
- to help people without scientific
backgrounds understand the terms and concepts used in genetic research.
click on the term of interest to open a page with a wealth of information,
including the term's pronunciation, audio information, images and additional
links to related terms. Students, teachers and parents will find the
glossary an easy-to-use, always available learning source on genetics.
Other advanced glossaries may be found
here (scroll down to Glossaries)
Many tropical countries face an urgent
need for rapid assessment of their biodiversity.
When biological communities rich in biodiversity are in
imminent danger, teams of scientists are sent in to carry out rapid biological
surveys of plants and animals, and evaluate habitats and ecosystems. The
results are then sent to key decision makers and posted on the web to help
assess and guide conservation measures and action as quickly as possible.
The Field Museum (Chicago) is the lead coordinator of Rapid Biological
Inventories, working in partnership with worldwide organizations.
All Species Foundation -
A project that has
been underway for 2 years to build an encyclopedia and inventory of life,
and access to information about the vast and amazing biodiversity of this
planet. The mission of
ALL Species is to stimulate the development of tools and resources to accelerate the discovery
and description of
all life on Earth in 25 years; to discover, identify and catalog the
millions of unknown living species on Earth. Such an inventory will result in the ability
to count populations of species and determine endangered species. It will bring a new understanding of nature and tremendously enable
our fields of knowledge in Natural History, Conservation, Ecology,
Evolutionary and Molecular Biology, and Biologic Wealth. Speed is
crucial and the project will require
work and input from many more biologists and the input of many thousands of
people from all over the world to be successful. If you are interested
in assisting in this endeavor, see website for details.
for Plant Conservation - What is Biodiversity?
"The most remarkable places on Earth are also the most threatened."
Click on the Hotspots Explorer interactive map to learn about the
world's most threatened reservoirs of plant and animal life.
"The Tropical Andes Hotspot
is the richest and most diverse of all the Hotspots on the planet - it is
simply unmatched," says CI President Russell Mittermeier. "In just over a
million square kilometers it holds 15 to 17 percent of the world's entire
plant life; it's an awe-inspiring place that has been aptly described as the
epicenter of global biodiversity."
(Press Release, "South
America Banks on Regional Strategy to Safeguard Quarter of Earth's
Biodiversity - Species
More links are provided here in our section on Biodiversity.
Discoveries of new species are within these links.
in the United Kingdom
is one of 12 countries in the world (out of 170 countries) that is
considered as "megadiverse" (click on Mexican Biodiversity link).
Click on Animals for Mexican fauna, Plants for Mexican flora, and
Places for Mexican Biodiversity Hotspots and Protected Areas.
Illustrated Database of Mexican Biodiversity is shielded by Mexican
Conservation Organization - Conexion con la Vida Silvestre, A.C., dedicated
to the study and conservation of Mexican wildlife. Listen to sounds of
birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles. Photo sections contain
images of: Animals, Plants, Places, and Satellite images of Mexico
from NASA. Some great maps are provided showing: various ecosystems,
states, physiogeography, major ecosystems, ecological zoning, diversity of
flora, annual precipitation and temperatures, biogeographical regions and
priority terrestrial regions. The Fun and Education link has some
interesting things to do. An Identity-X link leads you to photos of animals
that haven't been identified with 100% certainty. Take a look at them
- maybe you can identify some, or know someone who can.
of the Biodiversity of California Guide to the state's rich
diversity of biological resources, including maps, illustrations and
photographs. Available for purchase through the California Dept. of Fish and
Explanation of the
Naming of Living Organisms - The Naming of Trees
(Prepared by Dr. Craig R. McKinley, North Carolina
Taxonomy, or classification, is the most relevant to
this site: much of this site is organized according to Taxonomic principles;
in addition, closely related sciences such as Ecology, Geology, and
Climatology provide other perspectives on the world we live in.
Species Index contains photos, with taxonomic names. Click on links
for overviews and info on taxonomy, 4 of the kingdoms of life, and short
essays on hiking excursions through nature.
The Shape of Life
(PBS 8-part Series, 2002)
Episodes overview: What was the first animal? How do we know? How did
animals begin to move? Are the descendants of these first movers alive
today? What animals were the first to hunt? Do you need a head to get
ahead? How did animals move from the ocean to land? Why are more than
80% of living species arthropods? What is the purpose of sea shells? How did
the struggle for survival lead to animal diversity? Is one type of animal
better than the rest? Can you have social behavior without a brain? What
caused the rapid appearance of new kinds of animals 520 million years ago?
How do humans fit into the shape of life? Why have animals with
backbones enjoyed such success?
Click on the links to the various scientists' biographies to learn how they
first became interested in their careers, and advice they have for young
Where did human beings come from?
Evolution or Creation...or a combination?
Some countries and/or individuals are accused of selling off biological resources to the
highest bidders, resulting in the destruction of vast amounts of important
ecosystems and biodiversity just to gain money - without regard for the
harmful destruction of habitat and endangered, rare and undiscovered
species, or the regional and global impacts of their actions.
* * *
Epigenetics - a relatively new science
"Startling study on toxins' harm" (Seattle Post-Intelligencer,
Washington State University findings show that disorders can be passed on
without genetic mutations.
"If a pregnant woman is exposed to a pesticide at the wrong time, the study
suggests, her children, grandchildren and the rest of her descendants could
inherit the damage and diseases caused by the toxin -- even if it doesn't
involve a genetic mutation."
Dr. Michael Skinner, Director of the Center for
Reproductive Biology at Washington State University, explains this does not
cause a change in the DNA sequence, but a chemical modification of the DNA.
This type of change is classified as an epigenetic change.
"At the moment we humans speak something on the order of 6,500
languages. If we look at the number of languages we will likely pass
on to our children, that number is 600."
"Cultural diversity, as measured
by linguistic diversity, is fading as human society becomes more
This website is a
work-in-progress, but aren't we all.