Biodiversity

The term biodiversity describes the variety of life on Earth, from micro-organisms to mighty whales, along with the habitats they depend upon. Discover why the world’s biodiversity is under threat and what will happen to us as biodiversity decreases. Also, find out about the problems that come with trying to measure it, and how the Museum’s work is helping in the study and conservation of biodiversity.

  • Banded demoiselle, the UK’s largest damselfly on a nettle
    UK Biodiversity Portal

    Find out about UK biodiversity and how you can help to preserve it by identifying local species, taking part in wildlife surveys, and much more.

  • An ox eye daisy, Chrysanthemum leucanthemum, in the Museum's wildlife garden
    Introduction to biodiversity

    What is biodiversity, what are the threats and what is the Museum doing to help conserve biodiversity?

  • Wheat sheaf
    Why conserve biodiversity?

    Biodiversity is a fundamental part of the Earth's life support system, without it we would not be able to survive.

  • Logging operations in Brunei
    What threatens our biodiversity?

    The world's biodiversity is under threat from a range of different dangers, the majority of which have been caused by humans.

  • Museum scientist with a Malaise Trap in the Borneo rainforest
    Measuring biodiversity and extinction

    Watch these videos to find out how Museum scientists are helping to work out how many species exist worldwide and how many are endangered.

  • Yangtze River dolphin, declared extinct in 2007 © Chinese Academy of Sciences
    Too late for some – recent plant and animal extinctions

    Many scientists believe humans are causing a 6th mass extinction. Discover some of the wildlife that humans have tragically driven extinct in the past few centuries, and find out how.

  • Pyrenean ibex, Capra pyrenaica
    Saving species from extinction

    The survival of many species hangs in the balance, brought to the brink of extinction by humans. Find out how conservation efforts are helping and whether it might one day be possible to bring back extinct species.

  • Orang-utans, Pongo species, are endangered in both Borneo and Sumatra
    Conservation projects and issues

    Watch these videos to find out about international projects attempting to save endangered species, and explore some of the challenges conservationists face.

  • A range of the nuts and seeds in the Museum's collection
    Biodiversity at the Museum

    Scientists at the Museum and in many other research centres are still discovering new species, all of which play a role in the global ecosystem.

  • Seaweed in Anchor Bay, Somerset
    Somerset seaweeds

    Follow Museum expert Professor Juliet Brodie as she carries out the first seaweed survey since the 1970s in Blue Anchor Bay along the Bristol Channel.  Watch the video.