Biodiversity refers to the diversity of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome, or the entire earth. When people speak of “conserving species,” they generally are referring to the goal of maintaining this diversity of life.
Typically the first reason people think of for conserving species diversity is the aesthetic value of species. Each species can fascinate us with its uniqueness, generating public appeal.
More objectively however, the importance of conserving species diversity rests upon the ecological services that each species performs within its environment. That is, each species is important for how it generates and processes resources in the area in which it lives. Each species produces and consumes matter, which is made or used by something else, according to its availability, creating what is called the food web or the food chain. And when a species goes missing from this network, typically another species or it’s products begin to over-accumulate, throwing the ecosystem out of balance.
Thus, species often indicate the health of our ecosystems. Additionally, monitoring species can often be the easiest way to recognize pollution in a habitat, providing warning of pollution that could adversely effect human health.