Agricultural biodiversity includes all components of biodiversity relevant to food and agriculture. It encompasses in particular the following dimensions:
Although about 7,000 plant species have been cultivated and collected for food by humans since agriculture began about 12,000 years ago, today only about 15 plant species and 8 animal species supply 90% of our food.
Organic farms may play an important role in safeguarding biodiversity in agricultural landscapes. A recent study in Saskatchewan compared bird numbers on different kinds of farms. The researchers found that organic farms had more upland and wetland birds than conventional farms, and included some species that were not found on conventional farms. The abundance of beneficial insects, such as carabid beetles and parasitic wasps is often higher on organic farms. They are encouraged by the absence of insecticides and presence of weeds that provide habitat and food.
is a federally registered charitable organization formed in 1987 dedicated to conserving, evaluating and studying heritage, rare and minor breeds of Canadian farm animals. We believe this can be best achieved by maintaining viable breeding groups and preserving the genetics of these rare and endangered breeds.
Canada's Heritage Seed Program is a non-profit group of gardeners from coast to coast who contribute to Canada's biodiversity by saving and growing seeds from rare and unusual garden plants for the purpose of preserving the varieties.