The UN's sustainable development goals (SDGs), which aim to solve important economic, social, and environmental problems of humanity, are to be supported by education for sustainable development (ESD). Empirical studies on the success of the implementation of the SDGs in the field of education are still pending. For this reason, using the loss of global biodiversity as an example, this study examined the extent to which high school students, teacher trainees in biology, and biology bachelor students can identify the causes of the global biodiversity loss. A new questioning tool was developed and tested on 889 participants. In addition, the relationship between connection to nature and the personal assessment about biodiversity threats was examined. The factor analysis of the scale used showed that 11 out of 16 items were assigned to the intended factor. The comparison between high school students, teacher trainees in biology, and biology bachelor students showed no significant difference in overall assessment of the reasons for global biodiversity loss. When comparing the three risk levels in which the risk factors for biodiversity could be divided, across the three student groups, only minor differences were found. Therefore, a specific education of prospective teachers is necessary, as they have to pass on the competence as multipliers to their students. No significant difference could be found when examining the relationship between connection to nature and the overall scores of the assessment scale for the reasons of biodiversity loss. However, it was found that people who felt more connected to nature were more capable of assessing the main causes of risk for global biodiversity, while people who felt less connected to nature achieved better scores for the medium factors.
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