Climate change and threats to biodiversity

Biodiversity is currently being lost at an unprecedented rate globally, and Ireland is no exception. The decline in biodiversity has been more rapid in the past 50 years than ever before in human history and human activity is leading to increased extinction rates.

Biodiversity loss in Ireland is caused mainly by:

  • Habitat destruction (for example through construction and wetland drainage or infilling)
  • Invasive alien species (such as Japanese Knott Weed and Zebra Mussel)
  • Pollution (for example from use of excess fertilizer leading to excessive levels of nutrients in soil and water)
  • Land use change (such as conversion of land to plantation forestry or agriculture)
  • Unsustainable and excessive consumption
  • Climate Change (see Case Study)

Next: What Makes Up Ireland’s Biodiversity?