The protection of all species is the fundamental measure of conservation success and a test of our ability to halt and reverse man-made environmental problems.
All species play a part in the functioning of healthy ecosystems, which in turn affect the wellbeing of all Earth’s inhabitants. Maintaining biodiversity – a high number and variety of species – is key to protecting ecosystems, and providing adequate conditions for life on the planet. Indeed, without species, there are no ecosystems to protect.
Today, we can no longer attribute the decline of species and ecosystems to natural causes. Many believe we are undergoing a sixth mass extinction – the first one caused by humans – with species loss occurring at roughly 1,000 times the background rate. This means that for mammals and birds alone, on average more than 50 species move one category closer to extinction every year.
Although we have large amounts of information about many species across the world, there are significant gaps in our knowledge of the estimated 8.7 million species worldwide. A detailed understanding of species and their interactions is vital if we are to protect them and keep ecosystems functioning. We hope to help build this knowledge.
Recognising that all species have an intrinsic value, we support groups working to protect lesser-known, highly threatened species, as well as helping them to build their capacity and effectiveness and ultimately celebrate the diversity of life.