Learning Objectives

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The orangutan is an essential part of Borneo and Sumatra’s rich biodiversity. The islands are losing their biodiversity – and their orangutans – due to massive deforestation. Read more about the fate of the orangutan at the Borneo Orangutan Survival Australia website.1

By working through this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Investigate a case study that raises key issues concerning biodiversity.
  • Identify the ecosystem services provided by biodiversity.
  • Explain the relationship between biodiversity and evolution.
  • Describe Earth's major biomes and aquatic ecosystems.
  • Discuss current major threats to biodiversity.
  • Analyze key ethical challenges concerning biodiversity and understand the moral principles, goals, and virtues important for guiding decisions that affect Earth's plant and animal life.
  • Describe the ways in which spirituality has influenced human understanding of biodiversity and recognize how spirituality can support a constructive response to declining biodiversity.
  • Learn about action taking place in the world today to address threats to biodiversity. Consider a possible action that addresses a biodiversity threat in your community.