Many different factors contribute to the destruction of biodiversity
on Earth. Scientists have come up with a list of factors that
can be summarized by the acronym "HIPPO":
From clear cutting ancient forests in the Pacific Northwest to
the pollution that runs into our streams, human activity has had
devastating effects on many habitats around the world. Habitat
destruction - along with introduced species - pose the most threats
Due to the delicate balance of nature, when a new plant or animal
is taken from its natural environment and introduced into a new
ecosystem, the effects can be drastic. Some native plants and
animals are decimated while others may flourish to higher-than-average
levels due to the new introduced species.
introduce new species into an environment by accident. For instance,
the European zebra mussels hitched rides on cargo and cruise ships
and now pose a great threat to the health of the Great Lakes and
other northeastern United States lakes. Native mussels have been
nearly eliminated from the western basin of Lake Erie by the zebra
state, there are currently over 200 species of "exotic" plants
and trees that threaten the plants and animals native to the state.
to find out more about King County's noxious weeds control program
is a site devoted to introduced species in the U.S.
offers a comprehensive list of "exotic" plants in the Pacific
Pesticides, oils, heavy metals and common household chemicals
run off into our waterways and affect the salmon and other wildlife
in Washington state.
to find out ways to keep hazardous waste from polluting our environment.
With the world's population estimated to double within the next
12 years, more people means increased use of natural resources,
possible increase in habitat destruction and more waste generated.
Although the United States accounts for less than 5% of the world's
population, Americans consume over 25% of the world's resources.
We use more natural resources and produce more waste per capita
than any other nation.
four different ecosystems
and their diminishing