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Diversity Essay

1762 words - 8 pages

Chapter VII

Biodiversity Hotspots and Conservation Priorities

Why conservation efforts should be prioritized to certain zones

A living fossil: Gymnocrinus richeri

The Diversity Of Life On Earth

Chapter VII: Biodiversity Hotspots and Conservation Priorities

Introduction Chapter VII: Biodiversity Hotspot and Conservation Priorities

Despite that biodiversity losses are occurring everywhere on Earth, some areas which are both extraordinarily rich in life forms and particularly threatened from a number of sources have been identified. As a general trend, equatorial and tropical zones have a particularly rich biodiversity when compared to the rest of the word. The colder it ...view middle of the document...

1 (a) What is a Biodiversity Hotspot?
A biodiversity hotspot is a biogeographic region with a significant reservoir of biodiversity that is threatened with destruction. The concept of biodiversity hotspots was originated by Dr. Norman Myers. The hotspots idea was also promoted by Russell Mittermeier in the popular book “Hotspots Revisited” (2004). To qualify as a biodiversity hotspot on Myers 2000 edition of the hotspot-map, a region must meet two strict criteria: it must contain at least 0.5% or 1,500 species of vascular plants as endemics, and it has to have lost at least 70% of its primary vegetation. Around the world, at least 25 areas qualify under this definition, with nine others possible candidates. These sites support nearly 60% of the world's plant, bird, mammal, reptile, and amphibian species, with a very high share of endemic species.
© Sylvain Richer de Forges 2010 © Sylvain Richer de Forges. All rights reserved.

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The Diversity Of Life On Earth

Chapter VII: Biodiversity Hotspots and Conservation Priorities

Source: Conservation International

VII.1 (b)
The above map shows the principal biodiversity hotspots which have been identified around the world. The above map shows that most biodiversity rich regions are in tropical and subtropical areas. South East Asia has numerous hotspots.
2010 © Sylvain Richer de Forges. All rights reserved.

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The Diversity Of Life On Earth

Chapter VII: Biodiversity Hotspots and Conservation Priorities

VII.2 Case Study: Madagascar
Madagascar, is the fourth-largest island in the world, and is home to 5% of the world's plant and animal species, of which more than 80% are endemic. Emblematic species includes the lemur, the carnivorous fossa, three bird families and six baobab species. Madagascar's long isolation from the neighboring continents has resulted in a unique mix of plants and animals, many found nowhere else in the world. Of the10,000 known plants native to Madagascar, 90% are found nowhere else in the world. Madagascar's varied fauna and flora are endangered by human activity, as a third of its native vegetation has disappeared since the 1970s, and only 18% remains intact. Since the arrival of humans 2000 years ago, Madagascar has lost more than 90% of its original forest.

2010 © Sylvain Richer de Forges. All rights reserved.

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The Diversity Of Life On Earth

Chapter VII: Biodiversity Hotspots and Conservation Priorities

VII.3 (a) Case Study: Philippines
The Philippines is one of the ten most biologically megadiverse countries and is at or near the top in terms of biodiversity per unit area. Around 1,100 land vertebrate species can be found in the Philippines including over 100 mammal species and 170 bird species not thought to exist elsewhere. With an estimated 13,500 plant species in the country, 3,200 of which are unique to the islands, Philippine rainforests boast an array of flora, including many rare types of orchids and Rafflesia....

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