Ecosystem services

Ecosystem services are the numerous and diverse benefits that people openly benefit from the natural surroundings and also from properly-functioning ecosystems. Such ecosystems contain, by way of instance, agroecosystems, forest ecosystems, grassland ecosystems and aquatic ecosystems. These ecosystems working properly supplies such matters such as agricultural produce, lumber, and aquatic organisms including fishes and fishes. Together, these advantages have become called'ecosystem services', and are frequently essential to the provisioning of fresh drinking water, the decomposition of wastes, as well as also the natural pollination of plants and other crops. Supporting services comprise services like nutrient cycling, primary production, soil formation, habitat supply and pollination.

Habitat Conservation

Habitat conservation for wild species is among the most crucial problems facing the environment today - both in the sea and on land. As human populations increase, land usage grows, and wild species have smaller distances to call house. Over fifty percent of all Earth's terrestrial surface was changed because of human activity, leading to extreme deforestation, erosion and loss of topsoil, biodiversity loss, and even extinction. Species can't survive out their normal habitat with no human intervention, like the habitats within a zoo or aquarium, such as. Maintaining habitats is vital to maintaining biodiversity. Migratory species are especially vulnerable to habitat destruction since they have a tendency to occupy more than a natural habitat. Changing a natural habitat slightly may bring about a domino effect that hurts the whole ecosystem.

Supporting services

While scientists and environmentalists have discussed ecosystem solutions implicitly for a long time, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) from the early 2000s popularized this idea. Additionally, ecosystem services are grouped into four broad classes:
Supporting services
Provisioning

like the creation of water and food

Supporting services
Regulating

like the control of disease and climate

Supporting services
Encouraging

including nutrient cycles and oxygen generation

Supporting services
Ethnic

such as recreational and spiritual advantages

Your Connection to Wildlife

Official blog of the Canadian Wildlife Federation

A Rube With A View

A blog about ecology and wildlife conservation

The ecosystem services blog

Analyses and comments on the science and practice of ecosystem services and biodiversity

World's diverse ecosystems

Exploring Biodiversity from Home

Biodiversity can be found all around us, in the local forest, along our favorite hiking trail and even in your own backyard. At HCTF we believe that by making BC’s unique and abundant biodiversity accessible and giving other the tools to explore it we can inspire a passion for the natural world within the next... Read more »

The post Exploring Biodiversity from Home appeared first on Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.


Biodiversity can be found all around us, in the local forest, along our favorite hiking trail and even in your own backyard. At HCTF we believe that by making BC’s unique and abundant biodiversity accessible and giving other the tools to explore it we can inspire a passion for the natural world within the next... Read more »

The post Exploring Biodiversity from Home appeared first on Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.

Biodiversity can be found all around us, in the local forest, along our favorite hiking trail and even in your own backyard. At HCTF we believe that by making BC’s unique and abundant biodiversity accessible and giving other the tools to explore it we can inspire a passion for the natural world within the next generation of conservationists.

While learning about and exploring nature may be more difficult at the moment, our HCTF Education team has collected some resources for children, families and students of all ages. You can find the full list of HCTF E-Learning resources here or try this list of 25 ideas to explore the biodiversity from your own home.

Top 25 ideas to explore and learn about biodiversity at home!

  1. Make your own backyard nature trail or park. No backyard? Then create a fairy sized trail on your patio or draw one with washable markers on your living room window or create an indoor nature trail inside your home with pictures or illustrations with signs noting special features.
  2. Do a nature count! How many different birds, bugs, animals, spider webs, tracks do you see? Monitor them daily and graph. Join a citizen science program like Frog Watch, Plant Watch, Nest watch or participate in bird counts or a bio blitz.
  3. Create a nature journal, record observations of critters you see coming and going or what you hear.
  4. Build a habitat such as an insect hotel (link to Build a Bug Hotel), toad home, bird house or design a replica of one for your favourite animal.
  5. Record sounds of nature in the morning and evening. See how many different kinds of wildlife you can identify. Use an app such as ebird to help you solve the mystery voices in nature.
  6. Setup a bird feeder or make one. The most popular type of bird food is sunflower seeds – black oil (thin shell) or striped (thick shell). Use your binoculars or make some (link to how to make and how to use) and observe what species are using your feeder. More of building bird feeders and
  7. Look for tiny creatures. Make a pooter (link to How to Make), – Put an old pillowcase on the ground or have someone hold it, then gently shake a branch of a tree or shrub atop it. Use your pooter to collect what you find and put it temporarily into a container and take a closer look.
  8. Check out some live wildlife web-cams. If you have some technology to video try videoing your own backyard creature or pretend to interview an animal use your imagination and imagine what the animal would be saying in response to your interview questions.
  9. Map the species in your area. Check out the creature feature map.
  10. Design a travel or info brochure about the plants and animals that live in your area.  
  11. Create an animal mask, model or replica. Write a movie script or play animal charades.
  12. Play Nature Bingo!  Draw a 5 x 5 grid of squares on a 8 ½ by 11 sheet of paper and then “play” bingo for a fun family activity. Use any of the Backyard Scavenger Hunt lists for the bingo ideas.
  13. Make a plant rubbing ID guide with plants in your yard or nearby green space. Use a piece of paper and crayon to gently rub on the paper with the crayon to see the pattern of the leaf or trunk.
  14. Design an outdoor wildlife garden. What species would live there? What kind of food, water or shelter do they need?
  15. Sit Spot.  Choose a special spot in your yard and sit quietly for 5 minutes. What can you see or hear that you might not notice otherwise? Go to your sit spot everyday and notice the world around you and what changes. (Link to make a sit-upon to use at your sit spot)
  16. “Adopt a plant”. Choose a flower or shrub in your yard or a houseplant in your home to “adopt”. Measure it (or part of it that you can easily recognize, its stem or a prominent leaf). Notice if any insects have eaten any part of it or if other life is in its soil or living on its surface. Sketch or photograph what you see. Come back regularly to your adopted plant to record how it is changing. Make a photograph series or a flip book showing how your plant changed over time.
  17. Pattern Hunt – How many different shaped leaves can you find? How many shades of green? How many things are flying by? If you have a partner to play with, take turns choosing a category (you could choose 6 categories then roll a die to see which one is your challenge) and then see how many patterns in that category you can find.
  18. Pollinator Survey Keep your eye on flowers to see who visits them and helps them to produce fruits. Watch for hummingbirds, butterflies, and other insects.  Learn how to tell the difference between different types of insects (link to IPI) and do a pollinator survey. http://borderfreebees.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/pollinator-quick-ID-guide-2.pdf, Link to NatureKids pollinator project (in comments here) & submit your data Insight Citizen Science – The mobile app that lets citizens engage in pollinator research & conservation.
  19.  Photography Mysteries.  Take zoomed-in photographs of nature in your yard, such as the texture of a tree’s bark, a close up of a leaf surface, the inside of a flower, anything that is interesting to you.  Show the photos to someone else and challenge them to guess what it is or to go outside to find the object.
  20. Nature Sketching. Everyone can be an artist. Use a pencil and paper and sketch what you see. Tips & resources (including nature sketch scavenger hunt) here: https://batemanfoundation.org/digital-resources/
  21. Biodiversity in a spoon. Get a variety of measuring spoon sizes (1 Tbsp size to 1/8th teaspoon). Find small natural objects that fit in your spoon and try to bring them to a tray or larger container without letting them fall. Show off your miniature “museum” collection, then return them to their original spots.
  22. Create Nature Art. Make nature mandalas or temporary structures out of natural objects that are on the ground- cones, petals, branches, rocks.
  23. Nature in a Minute. Count how many different types of living organisms you can find in one minute.
  24. Host an Animal Olympics. Find out how far and fast some animals can move and then see how you compare to them.
  25. Alphabet Soup. Look for the shape of every letter of the alphabet on bark, leaves, branches and other objects around you.

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