Jeb is a zookeeper.  He loves his job!


“Biodiversity is the totality of all inherited variation in the life forms of Earth, of which we are one species. We study and save it to our great benefit. We ignore and degrade it to our great peril.” 
—E.O. Wilson, Professor Emeritus at Harvard, known as the greatest living scientist of our time.

 An International Traveling Exhibition of Endangered Species 
Dedicated to the Children of the World by Calley O'Neill with Rama the Elephant 
Artists Speaking Passionately on Behalf of Those who Cannot Speak
A contraction of two words: biological and diversity, biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth, a term coined by E. O. Wilson.   All species and ecosystems are an integral part of this thin skin of life on Earth called the BIOSPHERE (from Greek, bios = life, the living realm.  It is the sum of all the ecosystems.  If we compare the Earth to an onion, the entire biosphere from the deepest ocean to the upper limits of oxygen and bird flight, is 1/10” the thickness of the outermost crisp skin of an onion.

Sustainability is increasingly known and understood as the way forward to a healthy future.   Now, understanding the critical importance of protecting and restoring BIODIVERSITY – the variety of life on Earth, must be understood as foundational to the preservation of life on Earth.  

Biological diversity is a term we use to describe the variety of life on Earth. It refers to the wide variety of ecosystems and living organisms: animals, plants, their habitats and their genes. Biodiversity is the foundation of life on Earth.
International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN),

Biological diversity is the variety and variability among living organisms and the ecological complexes in which they occur.
U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment, "Technologies to Maintain Biological Diversity," 1987

Biodiversity is the totality of genes, species, and ecosystems in a region...Biodiversity can be divided into three hierarchical categories -- genes, species, and ecosystems -- that describe quite different aspects of living systems…
World Resources Institute, World Conservation Union, and United Nations Environment Programme, "Global Biodiversity Strategy," 1992

Biodiversity is not simply the number of genes, species, and ecosystems in a given place...a definition of biodiversity that is simple, comprehensive, and fully operational…is unlikely to be found.   More useful than a definition, perhaps, would be a characterization of biodiversity that identifies the major components at several levels of organization...composition, structure, and function...that constitutes the biodiversity of an area.   Composition has to do with species and genetic diversity.  Structure is the physical organization of a system, from habitat complexity through to a landscape scale. Function involves ecological and evolutionary processes.
Reed Noss, "Indicators for Monitoring Biodiversity: A Hierarchical Approach," Conservation Biology 4(4): 355-364, 1990


LIFE ON EARTH!  The word 'biodiversity' is a contraction of biological diversity. The term 'biodiversity' is indeed commonly used to describe the number, variety and variability of living organisms. This very broad usage, embracing many different parameters, is essentially a synonym of 'Life on Earth'.
United Nations Environment Programme/ World Conservation Monitoring Centre


Ours is a lofty goal -- to spark increasing awareness and the actions needed to preserve the health, resilience, and diversity of life on Earth. There is time for nothing less! It is our intention that every person leaves THE RAMA EXHIBITION with a heightened sense of the inherent value and interconnection of all species. 

 THE RAMA EXHIBITION is designed to awaken a conviction of the heart to create a future that is better than we can imagine. Now, more than ever, everyone who cares is moving forward full force to work for nature and the well being of the people where you live, with what you have, in your watershed and community.


E.O. Wilson Half-Earth Project

E.O. Wilson Foundation Website

In the simplest of terms, biological diversity is the variety of life and its processes, including the variety of living organisms, the genetic differences among them, and the communities and ecosystems in which they occur.
Keystone Center, "Final Consensus Report of the Keystone Policy Dialogue on Biological Diversity on Federal Lands," 1991
If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention.
Poet, writer, naturalist, Terry Tempest Williams

Loss of biodiversity - the variety of animals, plants, their habitats and their genes - on which so much of human life depends, is one of the world’s most pressing crises. It is estimated that the current species extinction rate is between 1,000 and 10,000 times higher than it would naturally be.  

The main drivers of this loss are converting natural areas to farming and urban development, introducing invasive alien species, polluting or over-exploiting resources including water and soils, and harvesting wild plants and animals at unsustainable levels.
International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) CONSERVING THE DIVERSITY OF LIFE,

Destroying a tropical rainforest and other species rich ecosystems for profit is like burning all the paintings in the Louve to cook dinner!                                                    
Harvard Entomologist Emeritus, E. O. Wilson