Biodiversity

The word “biodiversity” was coined in 1988 by Edward O. Wilson, entomologist, and has become common parlance since the 1992 Earth Summit. Biodiversity means the wealth composed of the whole of the genetic information of the living organisms that live in different climatic regions and habitats. Biodiversity originates from the evolutionary process that generated, through natural selection and over the centuries, all the living animal and vegetal species. Due to the fast and indiscriminate exploitation of natural resources, many living species (both animal and vegetal) have disappeared, while many others are at risk. More and more species are disappearing all over the world, much faster than it takes new species to appear. According to the 1995 Global Biodiversity Assessment (GBA) presented by the United Nations Environment Programme  (UNEP), 112 species of mammals disappeared between 1810 and 1995, three times as much as those disappeared between 1600 and 1810. As regards the disappearance of invertebrates, fish and plants, we are talking thousands of species.

Special reports

  • 15 March 2008

    Biodiversity

    Defining biodiversity Much is said about biodiversity and of the need to protect it. But what is biodiversity? And why…

    31 August 2013

    The Red List of Italian animals

    Biodiversity in Italy Italy has a rich biodiversity due to its distinctive geographic, climatic and historical characteristics. In particular, there…

    29 April 2013

    Intruders in the Mediterranean

    Mare Nostrum The Mediterranean Sea (Mare Nostrum, Latin for “Our Sea”) has always been considered of fundamental importance for the…

  • 10 February 2014

    Coral turns pale!

    The delicate balance of the coral reef “When looking at a coral reef, we are fascinated by the enormous variety…

    8 July 2011

    Who’s coming to dinner

    A shark in my hamburger Summer is finally here! As usual, we have waited for it all year long and…

    5 January 2005

    Tsunami in the Maldives

    The tsunami On the 26th December 2004, an earthquake that took place 300 km west of the Island of Sumatra…

  • 2 July 2014

    A hoax? No thank you, I prefer to find out myself!

    Scientific hoaxes In Italian, bufala: a hoax, also means a female buffalo – and a type of mozzarella cheese is…

    4 April 2013

    Carbon (14C) dating method

    Radiocarbon dating In 1991, near the border between Austria and Italy, the body of the Similaun man, also known as…

    1 August 2012

    Holidays, yes! but they must be sustainable!

    Sustainable holidays Lately we have been speaking of sustainable behaviours to apply to our daily life, but what happens when…

  • 15 March 2008

    Biodiversity

    Defining biodiversity Much is said about biodiversity and of the need to protect it. But what is biodiversity? And why…

    31 August 2013

    The Red List of Italian animals

    Biodiversity in Italy Italy has a rich biodiversity due to its distinctive geographic, climatic and historical characteristics. In particular, there…

  • 29 April 2013

    Intruders in the Mediterranean

    Mare Nostrum The Mediterranean Sea (Mare Nostrum, Latin for “Our Sea”) has always been considered of fundamental importance for the…

    10 February 2014

    Coral turns pale!

    The delicate balance of the coral reef “When looking at a coral reef, we are fascinated by the enormous variety…

  • 8 July 2011

    Who’s coming to dinner

    A shark in my hamburger Summer is finally here! As usual, we have waited for it all year long and…

    5 January 2005

    Tsunami in the Maldives

    The tsunami On the 26th December 2004, an earthquake that took place 300 km west of the Island of Sumatra…

  • 15 March 2008

    Biodiversity

    Defining biodiversity Much is said about biodiversity and of the need to protect it. But what is biodiversity? And why…

  • 31 August 2013

    The Red List of Italian animals

    Biodiversity in Italy Italy has a rich biodiversity due to its distinctive geographic, climatic and historical characteristics. In particular, there…

  • 29 April 2013

    Intruders in the Mediterranean

    Mare Nostrum The Mediterranean Sea (Mare Nostrum, Latin for “Our Sea”) has always been considered of fundamental importance for the…

From the Multimedia section

Facts

  • The whale shark

    The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is the biggest fish in the world, in fact it can reach a length of…

    The African elephant

    The African elephant is the largest land animal living on our Planet. The male African elephant can reach a length…

    Amphibians in a cave

    Proteus is an amphibian of white-yellowish or light pink colour. This animal has no pigmentation as he lives in total…

  • Animal records

    Long jump Snow leopard : 13 metres Springbok: 10 metres Kangaroo: 9 metres Flea: 35 cm, in other words, 220…

    Another camouflage …

    In the gardens it is quite common to find the larvae of the Chrysomelidae family beetle, called lily beetle (Crioceris…

    Ant and fish activities

    A small insect like the antilion, digs funnel shaped traps in the sandy ground when it is in the larva…

  • Attack and defence strategies

    There is a wide range of defence and attack strategies: some animals live hidden in natural holes or other hideouts…

    Big and small animals

    To live at the high temperatures of this inhospitable environment, some animal species have developed special morphological (concerning shape) and…

    Parks and wildlife sanctuaries

    To protect nature threatened by man’s pressure, many reserves and wildlife sanctuaries have been established. In Italy, natural reserves amount…

  • 3 April 2012

    The whale shark

    The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is the biggest fish in the world, in fact it can reach a length of…

    The African elephant

    The African elephant is the largest land animal living on our Planet. The male African elephant can reach a length…

  • 13 May 2011

    Amphibians in a cave

    Proteus is an amphibian of white-yellowish or light pink colour. This animal has no pigmentation as he lives in total…

    3 April 2012

    Animal records

    Long jump Snow leopard : 13 metres Springbok: 10 metres Kangaroo: 9 metres Flea: 35 cm, in other words, 220…

  • Another camouflage …

    In the gardens it is quite common to find the larvae of the Chrysomelidae family beetle, called lily beetle (Crioceris…

    11 May 2011

    Ant and fish activities

    A small insect like the antilion, digs funnel shaped traps in the sandy ground when it is in the larva…

  • 3 April 2012

    The whale shark

    The whale shark (Rhincodon typus) is the biggest fish in the world, in fact it can reach a length of…

  • The African elephant

    The African elephant is the largest land animal living on our Planet. The male African elephant can reach a length…

  • 13 May 2011

    Amphibians in a cave

    Proteus is an amphibian of white-yellowish or light pink colour. This animal has no pigmentation as he lives in total…