Biodiversity is vital

Biodiversity provides us with life’s necessities like food, water, oxygen, fibres, medicine and fuel while also inspiring design, technology and art. Even without us, biodiversity has an intrinsic value in itself.

A Forest Creek - Example of spiders habitat

Mike Gray © Australian Museum

  • About 35,000 species of plants are estimated to be of medicinal value; but only 5000 have been studied in detail.
  • Thousands of organisms help clean and recycle the air, water and soil that all humans depend on for survival.
  • Maggots can clean wounds more efficiently than most medical treatments.
  • Leech saliva contains the anti-coagulant hirudin, which can help prevent heart attacks and strokes in humans.
  • Velcro was invented in 1941 based on the tiny hooks found on burrs (seeds) of the burdock plant.
  • Many crop plants can be used for food or to produce ethanol, biodiesel fuel and cooking oil.
  • If it weren’t for the approximate 100,000 different types of organisms that feed on dead things, the Earth would be covered in rotting material.
  • 75% of the world’s population rely on natural medicine for health care.
  • Ten of the world’s 25 top-selling drugs are derived from natural sources.


Fran Dorey , Exhibition Project Coordinator
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