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

like the creation of water and food

Supporting services

like the control of disease and climate

Supporting services

including nutrient cycles and oxygen generation

Supporting services

such as recreational and spiritual advantages

Your Connection to Wildlife

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The ecosystem services blog

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

World's diverse ecosystems

Gardens of Extinction guest post

In this insightful guest blog post, we look at the UK's extinct creatures, and what we might have found outside our front doors up to 500 years ago — with the help of an eye-catching infographic.

The post Gardens of Extinction guest post appeared first on Kate on Conservation.

In this insightful guest blog post, we look at the UK's extinct creatures, and what we might have found outside our front doors up to 500 years ago — with the help of an eye-catching infographic.

The post Gardens of Extinction guest post appeared first on Kate on Conservation.

In these last few weeks of lockdown I’ve sort solace in my garden, and in exploring the wildlife that it hosts. You may have read about the lockdown garden I created with my children and the help of our neighbours throughout our time of quarantine (if you missed it, you can catch up here), and as I’ve enjoyed spotting all the insects, birds and small mammals that visit, I’ve often wondered what a UK garden might have locked like in the past.

In this insightful guest blog post, we look at the UK’s extinct creatures, and what we might have found outside our front doors up to 500 years ago — with the help of an eye-catching infographic shared at the end of this post. 

UK gardens of yesteryear

In the average garden, wildlife can survive and thrive throughout the four seasons. From blackbirds to the occasional urban fox, our green spaces are often abundant with nature.

But how has this changed over time? In the 20th century alone, 500 species worldwide are known to have gone extinct due to the destruction of natural habitats and ongoing human degradation. New research from Kaleidoscope reveals what wildlife and plants would have previously been found in British gardens but are now considered extinct.

From 50 years to 500 years ago, take a look at some of the visitors you could have spotted:

In the garden 50 years ago:

Even 50 years ago our gardens and the wildlife could have looked different. Our research revealed that a number of species have been classified as extinct in the last five decades. Amphibians like the European Tree Frog displayed a considerable decline and extinction in the UK, caused by a loss of breeding habitats, pollution and climate changes. Sadly, this species died out in 1986, with the Black-backed Meadow Ant following this just 2 years later.

The Burbot, the only freshwater species of cod, was previously found in rivers and ponds across Eastern England but was deemed extinct in the 1970s due to extensive agriculture and metallic pollution. Plans however were recently announced to reintroduce the river bottom-dwelling fish back into UK waters.  

In the garden 100 years ago:

The Norfolk Damselfly was last recorded from the Norfolk Broads several decades ago, and is now considered extinct in the UK. However, it is still widespread elsewhere on the European continent.

Other species known to have died out in the last century include the Kentish Plover, a small bird that was once an established breeder along the Kent and Sussex coastlines. Like the Damselfly, they can still be sighted in other European countries, but sadly regular breeding came to an end in the UK in 1931 due to tourism in the local area.

Keen gardeners might be able to recognise the key features of the now extinct Spiranthes Aestivalis plant, which comes from the Orchidaceae family, otherwise known as the Orchid. This beautiful flower is sadly in steep decline across Europe, with the plant also now extinct in Holland and Belgium.  

In the garden 500 years ago:

Prior to the 1800s, the Great Bustard was commonly found roaming the farmlands of the South of England. This iconic species of the Wiltshire landscape became nationally extinct when the last bird was shot in 1832.

Whilst not a typical garden setting, for people living along the Scottish coastline the sight of a Great Auk coming ashore to breed wouldn’t have been unusual. These flightless birds were deemed extinct in the UK in 1840 when the last known Auk was captured and killed.

The Eurasian wolf was leaner than its Grey cousin, and would have prowled remote expanses of the British Isles prior to 1680. Whilst they are now extinct in most parts of Western Europe, large populations of the species can still be found in Russia with a population of 30,000.

Our gardens today:

With us spending more time at home this year, it’s a perfect opportunity to explore the wildlife currently in your garden. Whilst its sadly no longer possible to have any encounters with the Great Auk or Eurasian wolf, there is still an incredible variety of birds, plants and animals to discover. Nature photography and painting are great ways to embrace some of the natural wonders that are still here with us today.

About the author:

Alistair Ferguson is a lifestyle writer who enjoys covering content that aims to highlight the wonders of the natural world and the importance of sustainability. He has written about a range of topics including seasonal eating, meal preparation and forageable beauty products. 

You can read more of Aliastair’s posts at

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