Manx Biodiversity

What is biodiversity & why is it important to me?

Biodiversity, or biological diversity, means all the diverse living things - us, plants, animals - and the natural landscapes (or ecosystems) in which we live -- seas, rainforests, tundra, meadows - and how they all interact with each other.

  • Bio refers to all living organisms
  • Diversity refers to the variety of these organisms

A diverse number of species and habitats ensure a healthy planet - something we must all strive for.

And why is biodiversity important to us?

We all know the benefits of enjoying wild spaces: From walking to cycling, kayaking to feeding birds, feeding hedgehogs, rock pooling, enjoying watching butterflies in our garden, wildlife and wild habitats provide us with relaxation, exercise and family time.

Lesser known but just as important are the economic benefits, from the fishing industry to farming: We need insects to pollinate our crops, trees to reduce soil erosion and help prevent flooding, and eel grass beds to help stabilise the sea bed and break down the energy of the waves impacting our shores.

A good example is sphagnum moss, which grows in the uplands and is a natural form of water storage. With its ability to hold large quantities, the moss helps control the flow of water from the mountains, a useful service, of great economic worth, especially given the recent heavy rains and incidents of flooding.

Indeed, a 2012 study by Brander and McAvoy estimated the economic value of the main upland habitats of the island, in providing carbon capture and flood protection, to be in the region of £42 million per year.

By encouraging everyone - young and old - to get closer to nature we all gain a greater understanding and enjoyment of all the diverse biological elements that make up the natural world and our place within it. And, crucially, how all those elements interact, how they rely upon one another and how our actions, for good or for bad, can have an great impact on that process.


The more we value nature, the more we can do to help protect it!

What can you do to help?

We can all make a real difference, every day: The choices we make in our day-to-day lives, from the food we eat to the holidays we take, impact on biodiversity —so let’s make sure we make choices that have a positive impact on our planet!

Read about the island's biodiversity strategy:

The main objectives of the Isle of Man Government’s Biodiversity Strategy, approved in October 2015, are to:

  • Manage biodiversity change to minimise loss;
  • Maintain and where necessary restore or enhance native biodiversity; and
  • Actively involve society in understanding, appreciating and safeguarding biodiversity

Get the facts:

Our Biodiversity: How You Can Help Protect Manx Biodiversity (pdf)

The Importance of Biodiversity: A Manx Perspective (pdf)

Species at risk:

A series of articles about the wide variety of species and habitats highlighted as "at risk" by the government's biodiversity strategy:

European Eel (Anguilla anguilla)

Curlew (Numenius arquata)

Manx robber fly (Machimus cowini)


Greater Butterfly-Orchid and Lesser Mottled Grasshopper

Herring Gulls and Heath Beefly

Eel grass and Maerl

Grey Seals (Halichoerus Grypus)

Horse Mussels (Modiolus modiolus)

More information:

Support our work to protect the island's habitats and species, donate online today!

Find out more about the government's strategy for biodiversity