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HOTSPOTS/DEFINITION


source: www.biodiversityhotspots.org

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hotspots

Hotspots are regions that harbor a great diversity of endemic species* and, at the same time, have been significantly impacted and altered by human activities.

To qualify as a hotspot, a region must

bullet support 1,500 endemic plant** species, 0.5% of the global total;

bullet have lost more than 70% of its original habitat.

There are 34 hotspots areas worldwide where 75% of the planet’s most threatened mammals, birds, and amphibians survive within habitat covering just 2.3% of the Earth’s surface (roughly equivalent to the combined areas of the five largest US states).


* Some plants and animals, like humans and grey rats, are widespread and inhabit most regions, while others have very restricted distributions and may be found only on a single island or mountaintop, in a single river or lake. We refer to these highly restricted organisms as endemic species because they are unique to a specific region.

** Plants have been used as qualifiers because they are the basis for diversity in other taxonomic groups and are well-known to researchers. Typically, the diversity of endemic vertebrates in hotspot regions is also extraordinarily high.
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