December 29, 2012 – Worldwide
Global Health Advocates, Matthew Bonds – Declining Biodiversity
Scientists are now looking into the life cycle of diseases and the effects a loss of habitats can have on parasites feeding in them. When the habitat of a host of disease carrying parasites is degraded, the parasites must find another mammal to feed off of. This increases the disease risk to humans dramatically, as the bugs will typically move to feed off of them.
As the number of plants, mammals, and birds are rapidly decreasing, more species are at risk of extinction. One explanation found relates to the diseases spread by creatures preying off these species, such as mosquitos and ticks, making it difficult for them to survive. As the biodiversity of habitats decrease, these creatures need to find something else to feed off of, their first option being humans. For years, people have argued that diseases can be stopped by funding countries for health care. The new statistic models showing the positive relation between habitat degradation and disease risks have shown it may be an ecological problem, as much as it is a health problem. The idea of preserving habitats and increasing biodiversity can help reduce the risk of diseases by adding more variables into the equation. With more species to prey on, the parasitic creatures will be less likely to feed on humans, reducing the risk of parasite-born diseases. It is well known by biologists that the less genetic