Is There a Crisis? Biodiversity in Decline

Is There a Crisis? Biodiversity in Decline (50:00)
Item# 11972

The most striking feature of life on Earth is its richness and variety. But research shows that the planet’s biodiversity is seriously threatened with destruction by human activities. From the depths of the oceans to the tops of rainforest canopies, from the African savannas to the soil underfoot, this program hosted by David Attenborough reveals the extent of that living bounty—and the chilling rate at which species are becoming extinct. The research of paleontologist Peter Ward, marine biologist Sylvia Earle, entomologist Terry Erwin, and biologists Sir Robert May, Edward Wilson, and John Lawton is featured. A BBC Production. (50 minutes)

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Segments in this Video - (14)

1. Biodiversity Decline (03:10)
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Understanding the truth about the scale of the damage done to the Earth by humans, shows the patterns for the future of the Earth.

2. Global Ecological Damage (03:02)

The damage being done to the Earth is a global problem that affects all people, not just a few people like those hit by a natural disaster. Scientists continue to discover new species.

3. Species in the Natural World (03:05)

There are a total of 1.5 million know species in the world. Scientists believe that only about 50 percent of the species in the African Savanna are identified.

4. Finding New Species (03:00)

Many of the small species are nocturnal and can only be seen at night. Ultraviolet lights against a sheet attract the flying species. Scientists study the species to learn more about the area.

5. Insecticide Foggers (03:01)

Scientists use insecticide foggers where the insecticide drifts up into the canopy of the forest causing the insects to fall down on to white catchers.

6. Rainforests and Coral Reefs (03:53)

Both rainforests and coral reefs have a multitude of species that are not yet discovered. Scientists are using new techniques and technologies to discover new species.

7. Species Beneath the Soil (02:59)

Beneath the topsoil the number of species is immense. These small creatures are the foundation of the ecosystem.

8. Bacteria (02:59)

Ninety percent of the human body is bacteria. Every living thing on the planet depends on bacteria for survival. Bacteria are discovered deep below the Earths surface by oil drilling machines.

9. Threats from Human Development (03:04)

Human influences greatly affect the species on Earth. The dodo bird is among those that have become extinct due to human impacts.

10. The Destuction of Natural Habitat (03:41)

Natural and human disasters destroy species at an alarming rate due to habitat destruction.

11. Extinction (04:01)

Extinction takes many different forms. Sometimes species reappear after they are thought to be extinct. The mahogany glider in Australia is an example.

12. Catostrophic Mass Extinction (02:59)

The five mass extinctions throughout the history of the Earth were preceded by the extinction of many species. Is it time for another mass extinction like the disaprearance of the dinosaurs?

13. Keystone Species (03:24)

Keystone Species are those species that if they are taken out of the ecosystem the rest of the ecosystem will collapse.

14. Conserving Natural Habitats (04:27)

Useful products come from many surprising sources. Horseshoe crabs' blood contains a substance that saves human lives. Conserving natural habitats creates a better Earth for people.

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