Biodiversity in King County
This page is the portal to biodiversity topics specific to King County. Please check back regularly, as we are actively building this site.
What is biodiversity in King County and why is it important?
First of all, what is biodiversity? Simply stated, biological diversity is life in all its forms. There are many definitions for biodiversity, and as you explore this web site, you can learn all about what biodiversity is.
King County Biodiversity Report
What is the biodiversity of King County? Glad you asked. We are pleased to introduce the first compendium of biodiversity information about King County. Read the King County Biodiversity Report.
The importance of biodiversity
Why is biodiversity important? First of all, biodiversity supports such diverse activities as agriculture, horticulture, selective breeding, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, pulp and paper, water purification and waste treatment. Most recently, the value of biodiversity to climate moderation and ecosystem resilience is receiving much attention. We are only beginning to realize the ways in which biodiversity will impact and be impacted by climate change. In short, human life depends on biodiversity.
A few of the more studied values or benefits of biodiversity include:
- Purification of air and water
- Soil fertility
- Food, fuel, and fiber
- Stabilization and moderation of climate
- Moderation of floods, droughts, temperature extremes, and forces of wind
- Control of pests and disease
- Genetic resources for crop varieties, animal breeds, medicines
- Pollination of plants, including 95% of the world's crops
How can you get involved in conserving biodiversity in the County? Our Get Involved page lists just a few ideas. If you know of more, let us know and we'll add them to the page!
Building a Biodiversity Calendar
Each year special days and weeks are celebrated to raise awareness about the importance of biodiversity. We can build a calendar around these spotlights.
- Earth Day is April 22. Earth Day Network's year-round mission is to broaden, diversify and activate the environmental movement worldwide, through a combination of education, public policy, and consumer campaigns.
- Save the Frogs Day is April 29. In an effort to raise awareness of the plight of amphibians, the scientific community has declared Friday April 29th, 2011 the 3rd Annual Save The Frogs Day.
- Endangered Species Day. On May 20, 2011 the Fish and Wildlife Service will observe Endangered Species Day in order to recognize the national conservation effort to protect our nation’s endangered species and their habitats.
- International Biodiversity Day is only two days later, on May 22, 2011. This year's theme is Forest Biodiversity, and the website includes a video message from Edward Norton, the United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for biodiversity.
- International Migratory Bird Day, in May. Each year celebrates a different theme. "Go Wild, Go Birding!" is the IMBD 2011 theme, chosen to highlight their focus on reaching out to involve new youth and adults in learning about birds, birdwatching, and bird conservation. See birdday.org to learn more.
- National Pollinator Week, June 20-26, 2011. Pollinating animals, including bees, birds, butterflies, bats, beetles and others, are vital to our delicate ecosystem, supporting terrestrial wildlife, providing healthy watersheds, and more. Pollinator.org provides information and free materials each year to bring awareness to this critically important topic. And of course be sure to visit our pollinator page for lots of great info and references.
International Year of Biodiversity: 2010
The United Nations declared 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity. 2010 is long gone, but you can still learn more about biodiversity by visiting the Convention on Biological Diversity's web site.