Biodiversity includes every living thing on the planet and all the habitats in which they live, from the smallest microorganism to the largest mammal.
Biodiversity is a topic that affects us all - insects, mammals, reptiles, trees and birds. All species depend on basic resources to stay alive. Our survival depends on our relationships with other living things and the health of our environment. With this in mind we need to consider the effect of human activity on biodiversity and make the right balance between development and conservation.
Here are some resources you might find helpful on Biodiversity:
United Nations - World Bee Day
One third of the world’s food production depends on bees and World Bee Day is an opportunity to highlight the importance of pollinators to both the environmental health and the security of our food supply.
What's Under Your Feet - The Pod
The Pod and the British Trust for Ornithology are working together on an exciting citizen science campaign called ‘What’s under your feet’, helping uncover the impact climate change is having on birds across the UK. Take part by collecting data from soil samples in the months of October, March and June. All resources are available on The Pod including; a checklist and activity overview, lesson plans and recording sheets.
BBC Terrific Scientific - Trees Investigation
As part of the BBC science campaign Terrific Scientific, this investigation will help your pupils to think and work like a scientist, investigating why carbon storage is important through the context of trees in their school grounds.
Scottish Natural Heritage - Scotland's Species
A detailed list of the species hosted by Scotland's diverse habitats.
Scottish Natural Heritage - Beyond Your Boundary
This resource is for educators in all schools, of any subject, working with pupils of all stages. It will help you to find, access, use and improve your local greenspace and spread and embed learning in local greenspace in your establishment.
Scottish Natural Heritage - Activities for Your Class
Find free, downloadable resources to help you bring Scotland’s nature and landscapes to life outdoors and in the classroom.
World's Largest Lesson - Goal 15: Life On Land
World’s Largest Lesson introduces the Sustainable Development Goals to children and young people everywhere and unites them in action. Download lesson plans, comics and other resources on biodiversity and ecosystems to use in your classroom.
World's Largest Lesson - Goal 14: Life Below Water
World’s Largest Lesson introduces the Sustainable Development Goals to children and young people everywhere and unites them in action. Download lesson plans, comics and other resources on marine life to use in your classroom.
Scottish Government - Template User Guide to Enhance Biodiversity and Promote Ecology in Sustainable Schools
This guide sets out a step-by-step process for enhancement of biodiversity and promotion of ecology in the external grounds of sustainable schools, from early planning of the school build to design and construction and enjoyment by the school community. It also supports the achievement of the Silver or Gold sustainability award (Building Standards Labelling System introduced as part of Section 7 (Sustainability) Non-Domestic Technical Handbook.
Butterfly Conservation Scotland - Big Butterfly Count
Help take nature's pulse by joining the Big Butterfly Count between 14th July and 6th August. The Big Butterfly Count is a nationwide survey aimed at helping to assess the health of our environment.
Butterfly Conservation Scotland - Identify a Butterfly
Not sure what kind of butterfly you've found in your garden or school grounds? Butterfly Conservation Scotland have a great identification tool that will help you find out. Search by size, colour or markings.
Stride Global Citizenship Magazine - Go Fish!
Learn about sustainable fishing with this interactive fishing game and link learning to SDG 14 Life below Water. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
All About Biodiversity
Protecting the environment we live in is vital not just for us but for every living thing, from the smallest microorganisms to the blue whale. We are part of the earth's biodiversity and depend upon every other living thing for a healthy, sustainable existence. We have only begun to discover the rich variety of life on our planet, but are losing species to extinction at an unprecedented rate. Of the 8,300 animal breeds known, 8 per cent are extinct and 22 per cent are at risk of extinction. We have so far identified nearly 200,000 different species, in the oceans, but actual numbers may lie in the millions. How many have been lost without us ever knowing them?
Biodiversity and Climate Change
Biodiversity and climate change are interrelated. Trees and oceans both absorb carbon dioxide produced by human activity and with 30 per cent of the Earth’s surface is covered by forests and another 75% is covered by oceans, it is clear that protecting habitats for wildlife is key to taking action on climate change.
At the same time, changing weather patterns and rising temperatures caused by climate change have an effect on biodiversity, with reduced habitat and increased numbers of parasites contributing to lower numbers of some species. There is already evidence that climate change is affecting biodiversity in Scotland. Biodiversity Scotland has noted habitat loss for the snow bunting and Scottish Natural Heritage warns that warmer more humid conditions are causing an increase in red band needle blight, which affects Corsican pine trees, while damp loving Rhododendron becomes more prolific.
There are some good stories of how species can adapt to changing conditions. Read about how Scottish Natural Heritage is helping natterjack toads adapt to rising sea levels on the Solway Firth.
Case Study - McLaren High School
Pupils at McLaren High School took part in several projects to improve Biodiversity in their school grounds, including Polli:nation with Grounds For Learning which aims to increase numbers of pollinators. Working together, pupils have transformed their grounds into a fantastic space for outdoor learning. Read more.