Factors for Biodiversity loss

Loss of biodiversity is happening all over the world and there are many different reasons for this. In Ireland the loss of biodiversity is mainly caused by:

Over-harvesting and over-hunting for food, fashion and medical purposes has caused significant reduction in species and endangered many more. Whales and African elephants are two examples of species at most risk, with commercial hunting and poaching their main threats. Well regulated recreational hunting does not have such an impact. In Ireland, we can see the effects of overfishing very clearly in the collapse of the cod fishing stocks around our shores.

Habitat loss and fragmentation is a very important cause of species extinction. The deforestation of tropical forests is expected to be the greatest cause of mass extinctions caused by human activity. Cutting down forests and hedgerows to provide agricultural land has increased. The loss of tropical forests, which hold 50% of the world's biodiversity, are proving to be the most significant threat to species in the modern age. This leads to fragmentation of habitats, and species which require large habitats - such as bears - cannot survive if the area is too small. An example in Ireland is the hare. Hares live above ground in a patch of flattened vegetation called a form. Their habitats have been disturbed by intensive farming methods, including changes in land usage, where farmers have moved from grassland to arable farming and an increase monoculture.

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