Biodiversity is an integral part of maintaining ecosystem health. Without a variety of species, environments aren’t as resilient and they’re more likely to suffer. Maintaining and boosting biodiversity is a great way to strengthen our environment and its ecosystems.

But how do we do that?

There are small steps we can take on an individual level to boost biodiversity, and bigger steps that biologists can take to make a difference, too.

Plant (and eat) locally – Two great ways to help with biodiversity are to plant and eat locally. When deciding on what to plant in your yard, make sure to choose plants that are native to your location. This helps combat native species and allows your plants to thrive. When you’re purchasing food, see if you can buy from local farmers. This benefits both local businesses and helps maintain biodiversity.1

Keep pets indoors if possible – This especially applies to outdoor cats. Cats kill millions of birds daily throughout the country. If you can keep your cat indoors, it’ll help protect local bird populations.2

Leave wildlife alone – Be sure not to interfere with wildlife when you’re out in nature. Don’t bring animals home or interact with them; only observe them from a distance. The same goes for plant species.2

Reintroducing mammals – A recent study points to how important mammals are to their ecosystems. Reintroducing them can help boost biodiversity and create a more stable environment. For example, hippos help expand lagoons and deposit nutrients to feed fish. If biologists focus on ensuring mammal populations can thrive in their ecosystems, the environment gets a much-needed boost.3

Right now, there are over a million species that could go extinct.3 By reintroducing animals to their habitats and preserving their environments, we can increase much-needed biodiversity in order to keep our wildlife thriving.

Conservation efforts are integral to helping at-risk species maintain their population numbers – but it goes beyond just that species. Often these efforts have extra benefits for other species in that ecosystem, too.

Without healthy ecosystems, we suffer, too. Many resources we use every day come from our environment, so it’s essential we keep our natural spaces as healthy as possible.

Help us spread the word about our nation’s wildlife and our environment.