Australia’s biodiversity is important both globally and nationally!
The global importance of Australia’s biodiversity is due to both its richness and its uniqueness. Between 7 and 10% of all species on earth occur in Australia. The uniqueness of Australia’s biodiversity is largely due to this continent being separated from other land masses for millions of years. Many of Australia’s species, and even whole groups of species are endemic (unique) to this continent. As a result, Australia is identified as one of the world’s ‘megadiverse’ countries and is an international biodiversity ‘hotspot’.
There is increasing recognition that protecting other species is a smart strategy for the long-term benefit of humans. Many of our crops, domestic animals, pharmaceuticals and other chemicals, building materials, fuels and many other products that have allowed humans to thrive in a range of environments, and respond successfully to many challenges, come from other species. The variety of genetic material in other species gave humans choices and options for dealing with challenges and opportunities.