Things to do to protect biodiversity

Things you can do to protect biodiversity

The following are suggestions for simple actions that almost anyone can do to protect biodiversity. If you have other suggestions, please send them to


• Avoid using pesticides and other chemicals dangerous to living things

• Minimize your use of antibiotics, only when a doctor prescribes them for a microbial infection; they can continue to affect microbes in nature

• Plastics are contaminating the world: reduce, reuse and recycle; never discard them in nature

• Cats are a disaster for biodiversity; do not let them roam freely, or use collars and bells

• For noxious fauna like mice and rats, use traps rather than poisons that can affect scavengers and other wildlife

• Bring nature into your home; house plants and urban gardens are good for health

• There is room for nature in the city, in street trees, parks, roof gardens, vegetative roofs, and even on balconies


• Practice organic gardening for both home landscaping and a vegetable or herb garden

• Favour trees where space allows, prefer native trees or fruit trees, and cut a tree only when absolutely necessary

• Plant for diversity in your garden

• Avoid, and if necessary combat, invasive species; check on exotics before introducing them to your garden

• Create and maintain hedges and hedgerows around plots and fields

• Use plantings favourable to animals, birds and insects

• If a lawn is not used for recreation, consider replacing it by more productive plantings

• If you need to maintain open spaces, mow selectively and leave some unmowed patches as habitat

• Install nesting boxes and bird feeders

• Use low till or no-till agriculture to protect soil fauna

• Compost to restore and maintain soil fertility

• Stabilize soils and maintain vegetation cover to prevent erosion

• Protect ponds, streams and watersheds from drainage of chemicals, pollutants, fertilizers and sewage, especially in storm runoff

• On a farm, leave some natural areas that can help to maintain defences against pests, and control erosion


• In natural areas, do not walk off trails in winter and during the breeding season to avoid disturbing animals and birds

• Control dogs when walking in natural areas to avoid scaring wildlife

• Carry out all your waste


• Never buy goods containing products of endangered species like ivory, furs, or certain traditional medicines

• Heavy pesticide use in agriculture threatens biodiversity and human health, so consider practices in the places you buy food and other goods from, and prefer organic

• Tropical deforestation is driven by demand for meat, soybeans, palm oil, cocoa, coffee and other products, so reducing our consumption, selecting sustainably-produced products or preferring locally-produced items is essential

• If you travel to or vacation in natural areas, be sure that your actions respect nature and its biodiversity; avoid encouraging tourism that destroys natural areas

• Buy seafood from sustainably-managed fisheries (MSC) or aquaculture (ASC)

• Buy paper and wood products from sustainably-managed forests (FSC)

• Roads and traffic outside cities impact wildlife; prefer public transport over personal motor vehicles

• All actions to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases help to preserve biodiversity, since climate change threatens biodiversity

Last updated 14 May 2019