Protect and restore keystone species to ensure the health of ecosystems and neighboring human communities.
A keystone species is an animal or plant that serves an irreplaceable ecological or cultural function. Its removal can cause destabilizing trophic cascades in significant parts of an ecosystem, impacting the diversity and size of wildlife populations, the abundance of native vegetation, and the health of waterways. The resulting changes can increase the risk of wildfires and boost the spread of invasive species. Their loss can also impact the material and spiritual well-being of human communities. Many keystone species, including bats, sea otters, and oak trees, are in jeopardy from the effects of industrial agriculture, land degradation, development, hunting, and climate change. Protecting and restoring keystone species in their native habitat is essential to planetary and human well-being.