Your charity for Scotland’s environment

Biodiversity

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:

Keep Scotland Beautiful - Free Seed Mixes

Our biodiversity campaign encourages planting for pollinators.  We offer community groups and schools seeds to grow native wildflowers that benefit butterflies and bumblebees. Get some seeds.

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. Read more on The Pod website.

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. Visit site.

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. Visit site.

Scottish Natural Heritage - Scotland's Species

A detailed list of the species hosted by Scotland's diverse habitats.  Learn more about the array of nature hosted by Scotland's landscape.

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 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.