What is Biodiversity?
Biodiversity matters because...
- It contributes to our very existence. The food we consume, the electricity that powers our homes and offices, even the pharmaceuticals we use to treat our illnesses are the products of biodiversity.
- It provides an attractive environment in which we live, work and play.
- It regulates our climate and protects our coastlines.
- It is our natural heritage.
- There are many different rural, urban, coastal and marine habitats, reflecting the county's varied geology and land form.
- There are a recorded 13,000 rare and threatened species (Kent Red Data Book 2000).
- A variety of habitats provide a stronghold for particularly threatened UK BAP priority species such as the water vole, great crested newt, song thrush and dormouse.
- 40% of the UK's coastal vegetated shingle resource - a UK BAP priority habitat - is found at Dungeness.
- There are 101 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), a total area of 33,163 hectares - covering 8.5% of the county.
- There are 440 Local Wildlife Sites, covering approximately 26,000 hectares - 7% of the county.