Biodiversity & Species Conservation – NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

Sustaining New York’s Animals, Vegetation and Ecosystems

What is Biodiversity?

Biodiversity refers back to the whole number of life on Earth, or the whole number of life in a given space.

The biodiversity of New York consists of all of the completely different species of animals, vegetation, fungi, and even microorganisms and micro organism dwelling within the state. Nobody is aware of the whole variety of species in New York. There are tens of 1000’s of species of vegetation and animals alone (together with 4,000 beetles), and extra species are being found daily. The biodiversity of New York additionally consists of genetic variations amongst people of the identical species. Moreover, it consists of communities of vegetation and animals that happen collectively.

The Importance of Biodiversity

Conserving as many vegetation and animals as doable is essential for the good thing about people and of different species. Particular person species assist meet our primary wants; for instance:

  • Animals and vegetation present meals and supplies for clothes, shelter, and gasoline.
  • Bugs pollinate crops and management agricultural pests.
  • Vegetation produce the oxygen we breathe, and are the supply for a lot of medicines.
  • Microorganisms decompose waste merchandise and recycle vitamins.

Every species is a novel a part of our pure world and can’t be changed if misplaced. We depend on biodiversity for enjoyment, recreation, and religious success.

Threats to Biodiversity

As we speak, essentially the most vital threats to New York’s biodiversity embrace:

  • habitat destruction, alteration and fragmentation;
  • the unfold of invasive species;
  • air pollution;
  • unlawful assortment; and
  • local weather change.

Over the past century, human impacts on our planet have led to an growing and alarming lack of biodiversity. Scientists estimate that present extinction charges exceed these of prehistoric mass extinctions. Lack of biodiversity additionally means lack of genetic range and lack of ecosystems.

Lack of appropriate habitat is the foremost trigger for declines in species populations. Growth, wetland filling, and different actions scale back the whole quantity of habitat. These actions additionally fragment remaining forest, grassland, and wetland habitat into patches too small and too remoted to help some animal species.

As well as, the unfold of invasive non-native species has dramatically modified the composition of New York’s lands and wildlife. They typically scale back or substitute native species populations. For instance, the chestnut blight fungus from Asia almost worn out the American chestnut inside 30 years. Now, this previously widespread and tall tree is far lowered in quantity and in dimension.

Air pollution has been vastly lowered over the past 40 years. Nonetheless, acid rain, pesticides, and fertilizers nonetheless alter the chemical steadiness of New York’s lakes and rivers to the detriment of fish and different aquatic life.

Previously, unregulated industrial searching decimated populations of many species. This even led to the extinction of the passenger pigeon, as soon as plentiful in New York. As we speak, turtles and snakes proceed to be poached and picked up illegally for the pet commerce. Worldwide, populations of many fish species are threatened by overharvesting.

Local weather change could trigger some species to shift their ranges out of New York State or to greater elevations. Different species could possibly adapt to the brand new circumstances. These species which can not transfer or adapt could ultimately disappear altogether.

Efforts to Preserve Biodiversity

Whereas biodiversity consists of each dwelling factor, it’s a precedence to stop the disappearance of endangered native species from New York State. A lot of DEC’s applications give attention to these species and their habitats. Examples of DEC’s efforts to preserve biodiversity might be discovered through the use of the hyperlinks beneath.

Assist for Pollinators

Learn Extra about New York’s Biodiversity

Out there from DEC’s Biodiversity Mapping web page are two DEC mapping functions, New York Nature Explorer and Environmental Useful resource Mapper. They supply data on many features of the state’s biodiversity.

How You Can Help Preserve New York’s Biodiversity

  • Volunteer. Work alongside DEC workers, or present DEC with your personal observations to assist us acquire information on New York’s wildlife sources. To find out about particular applications and how one can assist contribute, go to the Citizen Science web page.
  • Contribute to Return a Gift to Wildlife (RAGTW) in your tax return. So far, greater than 250 initiatives have been completely or partially funded via RAGTW. Many of those initiatives wouldn’t have been doable with out the beneficiant contributions from you!

Extra about Biodiversity & Species Conservation:

  • Habitat Conservation Assistance Programs – A abstract of state and federal habitat conservation help applications obtainable.
  • Citizen Science: Wildlife Observation Data Collection – Alternatives to assist DEC acquire information about New York’s wildlife useful resource.
  • Endangered Species – New York State’s program to guard and promote Endangered, Threatened and Particular Concern Species
  • Fish and Wildlife Species Restorations – There have been a number of main success tales of wildlife restoration in New York. See success tales and consider restoration plans for a number of species.
  • Landowner Incentive Program – The Landowner Incentive Program focuses on managing privately-owned habitat by providing landowners technical recommendation and monetary incentives to guard at-risk species.
  • Return a Gift to Wildlife – Return A Present To Wildlife (RAGTW) was established by the legislature in 1982 to assist present extra funds to boost DEC’s fish and wildlife program.
  • Secretive Marsh Birds – DEC makes use of standardized strategies to observe secretive marsh birds all through the state so as to present wildlife managers with details about their inhabitants standing.
  • State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP) – The State Wildlife Motion Plan (SWAP) serves as New York State’s guiding doc for managing and conserving species and habitats earlier than they grow to be too uncommon or pricey to revive.
  • Biodiversity Mapping – Details about the Division’s environmental mapping functions regarding biodiversity.
  • Environmental Monitoring – The Environmental Monitoring Part of the DFWMR Bureau of Habitat yearly plans, carries out and stories on organic monitoring associated to contaminant trackdown, fish consumption advisories, contaminated web site cleanup, and biotic disturbances, corresponding to fish kills, ensuing from pesticides and different poisonous substances within the aquatic setting.
  • Aquatic Habitat Protection – Biologists inside the Bureau of habitat defend aquatic habitat by assessing and mitigating the hostile impacts of business cooling water use and hydroelectric era on fish and wildlife sources in New York State.
  • Natural Heritage Areas Program – The objective of the New York Pure Areas Program is to offer state land managers with a software to focus on and make sure the safety of uncommon vegetation, animals and vital pure communities on state-owned land.
  • New York Natural Heritage Program – The New York Pure Heritage Program facilitates conservation of New York’s biodiversity by offering complete data and scientific experience on uncommon species and pure ecosystems to useful resource managers and different conservation companions.


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