On international day of biological diversity James Bailey explains what the much used word, biodiversity, actually means.
There’s a lot of talk about biodiversity, but what on earth is it? Well, simply put:
“It is all life on Earth”.
A more detailed definition is along the lines of:
“biodiversity is the term given to the existence of a wide range of living organisms in one place at a certain time. The place can range in scale from a window box to the world as a whole”.
When asked about biodiversity there is one place that springs to mind each and every time. That place is Makuleke in northern Kruger on the Limpopo River.
Not only did I have the privilege of spending a month there during my safari guide training I then went back (in fact I never left) and spent the next six months walking trails as a back-up guide.
Makuleke is such a great example when it comes to biodiversity. This is due the wider range of habitats that it has which can sustain a diverse range of life. These habitats include wetlands, riverine forests, woodland and floodplains to name but a few.
There is one stat that sums up Makuleke’s status as a biodiversity hot spot:
“In all Makuleke is 24,000 hectares (almost 60,000 acres). This is a relatively small area, just 5% of Kruger National Park yet it represents 95% of Kruger’s biodiversity”.
Learn more about the ecology of Makuleke through a dedicated course.
Take part in international day of biological diversity, each year it is celebrated on the 22nd May. Find out more at the convention’s website.
Sources: WWF and Biology Online. Please see the reference section for full details.