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KZN WILDLIFE`S MISSION STATEMENT:
"To ensure effective management and sustainable use of KwaZulu Natal's biodiversity in collaboration with the community".
STRATEGIC CONSERVATION GOAL:
To conserve indigenous biodiversity of KwaZulu-Natal both within and beyond protected areas.
WHAT IS BIODIVERSITY?
Biodiversity, or biological diversity, is the number and variety of living organisms on earth, the millions of plants, animals, and microorganisms, the genes they contain, the evolutionary history and the potential they encompass, populations, communities, habitats and the ecosystems, ecological processes and landscapes of which they are integral parts. Biodiversity thus refers to the life-support systems and natural resources upon which we depend.
There are six main components of biodiversity.
Genetic diversity refers to the variation of genes within and between populations of a species, as well as between species. This variation allows species in the wild to adapt to changing conditions. Genes are the biochemical packages that are passed on by parents to their offspring, and which determine the physical and biochemical characteristics of offspring.
Species diversity refers to the variety and abundance of species within a geographic area. Often the term "species richness" is used as a measure of species diversity, but this refers only to the number of species within a region, thus is technically only one component of diversity. A species is a group of plants, animals, microorganisms or other living organisms that are morphologically similar; that share inheritance from common ancestry; or whose genes are so similar that they can breed together and produce fertile offspring. Usually different species look different.
A number of, and difference between, populations of a species within its range. In terms of a population's structure, this could refer to sex ratio, age distribution and other demographic characteristics, as well as its distribution. Functional characteristics include such parameters as population growth and fluctuations, fertility, fecundity, recruitment, survivorship and mortality rates.
An assemblage of animals and plants; living together in an interactive way is a community. Community diversity refers not only to the number of different communities found in an area but also the degree of difference between communities themselves. Communities vary from relatively small, such as a pond, too large, such as an expansive grassland, and numerous communities may exist in close proximity.
Ecosystem diversity refers to the variety of ecosystems within a certain geographical area. An ecosystem consists of communities of plants, animals and microorganisms, and the soil, water, and air on which they depend. These all interact in a complex way, contributing to processes on which all life depends, such as the water cycle, energy flow, the provision of oxygen, soil formation and nutrient cycling.
Landscape diversity is the variety of landscapes within a region, and the diversity of the elements and processes within and among them. A landscape is homogenous ecological unit defined by distinctive assemblages of plants, animals, landforms, geology and climate.