Threats to Biodiversity

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Scientists have composed a stupendous acronym for the factors that contribute to the destruction of the earth’s unique biodiversity; H-I-P-P-O

H- Habitat Destruction

“Habitat destruction is the process by which natural habitat is damaged or destroyed to such an extent that it no longer is capable of supporting the species and ecological communities that naturally occur there. It often results in the extinction of species and, as a result, the loss of biodiversity (Laura Klappenbach).”

Example: Cutting down trees, polluting oceans, lakes, and rivers, and industrial activities

(Mining, construction, oil)

I-Introduced Species

“A species that humans have placed into an ecosystem or community (either accidentally or intentionally) in which it does not naturally occur (Laura Klappenbach)”

Example: Asian Carp, Burmese Python, and, Zebra Mussels

P- Pollution

“The act or process of polluting or the state of being polluted, especially the contamination of soil, water, or the atmosphere by the discharge of harmful substances.”

Examples: Air Pollution ,Land Pollution ,and Water Pollution

P- Population Growth

“[ An] increase in the number of people who inhabit a territory or state”

Examples: higher demand for natural resources and depleting habitats for ecosystems

O- Over consumption

“The action or fact of consuming something to excess”

Example: Whole species of animals disappearing because they were hunted to extinction for their body parts


BUT– We need to add  radioactivity or radioactive contaminants to this list! Anyone have an idea of a new acronym to include this threat in HIPPO?


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