ON JUNE 30, 2009, THE BRI PROGRAM OFFICE WILL BE CLOSING DOWN TEMPORARILY. THE ACTING DIRECTOR OF BRI AND THE BRI EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ARE WORKING TO REINSTATE STAFF AND WE HOPE TO BEGIN PROGRAM ACTIVITIES AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. WE DO NOT ANTICIPATE ANY CHANGES TO THE UPCOMING FALL 2009 BRI BIOLOGY AND CONSERVATION LECTURE SERIES OR TO THE 2010 NORTHEAST NATURAL HISTORY CONFERENCE, SO PLEASE PLAN ACCORDINGLY.
Why Be Concerned About Biodiversity?
Because it is being lost at alarming rates!
In Earth's 5.5 billion year history, there have been five major “mass extinctions” recorded in the fossil record, the most recent of which, 65 million years ago, killed the last of the true dinosaurs. Scholars believe that we are currently experiencing extinction rates rivaling or exceeding the rates of the prehistoric mass extinctions. Although 99.9% of all animals that once lived on Earth are now extinct, the mass destruction attributable to one species (our own) is apparently unique in the earth's history. Biodiversity loss does not just mean that certain species organisms are going extinct. As population sizes and the numbers of populations decrease, genetic diversity is lost as well. The net result may be that major ecosystems, like whole oceans, may become imbalanced and crash. A catastrophe like the rotting of an ocean can only be imagined.