Biodiversity is part of the Global Issues series, which is designed to be a first-stop resource for research on the key challenges facing the world today. Each volume contains three sections, beginning with an introduction that clearly defines the issue, followed by detailed case studies of the issue's impact in the United States and several other countries or regions. The second section draws together significant U.S. and international primary source documents, and the third section gathers useful research tools such as brief biographies, facts and figures, an annotated bibliography, and more. A foreword written by an expert in the field complements each volume. A chronology, glossary, and index provide additional help.
The species with which we share Earth are integral to our ability to live on this planet, yet one need look no further than the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 to understand the destruction humans routinely inflict upon nature. In fact, while virtually no portion of the globe has been left untouched or unspoiled by unnatural excursions, each day humans demand more and more of Earth's ecosystems, leading to an ever-increasing threat to myriad species. As these threats show no sign of abating, the need to understand the importance of biodiversity to a healthy planet is as strong as ever.
This volume begins with an introduction to biodiversity, discusses its importance and history, the difficulties in maintaining it, and past and current efforts to protect ecosystems from greater destruction. Biodiversity then presents five specific case studies, in the United States, Indonesia, New Zealand, Madagascar, and Costa Rica. Each describes the history and current status of biodiversity, obstacles to maintaining it, and conservation efforts in the relevant country.