Habitat destruction, trade in animal parts and climate change are all to blame for the loss of biodiversity around the world.
It is problematic when local plants and animals become extinct, as they fulfil important ecological functions for the ecosystem. DW's latest content concerning biodiversity is collated below.
Without water, there is no life. Water conservationist Rajendra Singh is bringing dead streams back to life in India. Thousands of dead fish have turned up in the Rhine River in Switzerland — fish are vulnerable to high temperatures as their environment heats up. And, an entrepreneur wants to drag icebergs all the way to South Africa!
Large numbers of fish have died in the Rhine River as a result of high water temperatures due to the ongoing heat wave. The cold-loving grayling in northern Switzerland has been hit particularly hard. During the 2003 heat wave, 90 percent of Switzerland's grayling population was wiped out. Now, there are fears the current bout of searing heat will deliver another blow.
People in Cambodia have developed a taste for tarantulas, starting during the brutal rule of the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s when people were starving and ate the crawling creatures to survive. To this day, people continue hunting down tarantulas, and sell them fried at market stalls. But habitat loss and hunting are driving them to the brink.
Tarantulas, scorpions and cockroaches are not appealing — but they are important! Eels in Canada are being chopped up by dams — but they don't get the attention they deserve because they aren't cute like pandas. Poisonous scorpions are more important for our ecosystem than you may have thought. And a taste for tarantula in Cambodia has decimated their numbers.