This picture taken on February 11, 2021 shows a view of Dragon’s blood (Dracaena cinnabari) trees at the top of Dixam mountain in the Yemeni Island of Socotra, a site of global importance for biodiversity conservation, located in the northwestern Indian Ocean some 200 kilometers south of the Yemeni mainland. AFP / Getty Images What Is Biodiversity? Polar bears, honeybees, mango trees and coral reefs are all examples of the countless animal and insect species, plant life and ecosystems that comprise the planet’s vast biodiversity. Every living organism has a role to play in an intricate web of connectedness, no matter the size, and without them, there would be no life on Earth. Removing just one from the chain can send significant ripple effects throughout the system, even if those effects aren’t immediately felt. More crucially, every species lost increases the extinction risk to another connected species. While biodiversity exists wherever there is life, there are some places on Earth that are considered biodiversity hotspots — specific areas that are teeming with native species that can’t be found anywhere else in the world, from koalas in Australia to giant pandas in China. There are currently 36 areas that qualify […]

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