More than 50,000 species of plants and animals live in British Columbia. That’s more biological diversity than anywhere else in Canada. This diversity is due to the varied landscape and climate of BC.
Our province has everything from forests and mountains to ocean and deserts. Each region supports a diverse range of species. Diversity makes ecosystems more resilient, but not indestructible. In fact, many of BC’s plants and animals are at risk of extinction.
From tiny insects the size of poppy seeds to Basking Sharks as long as school busses, species in BC are being pushed to the brink by habitat loss, pollution, over hunting, climate change and intense competition with invasive species. But what happens if species disappear from our province (called extirpation) or become extinct?
Many scientists study species at risk, but anticipating the cascading effect of species extinction is challenging. We discover new links between species all the time. Every species has value. All species, including humans, share the planet—the extinction of one changes the world forever. We’re all connected in a giant ecological web.
This pathway is a place to explore nature’s connections, ask questions and be inspired by those working to protect species at risk.
What do you think our priorities should be for species at risk?
Created in partnership with:
For information about the Royal BC Museum’s travelling exhibition Species at Risk, click here.