Biodiversity hotspot

A biodiversity hotspot is a biogeographic region with significant levels of biodiversity that is threatened with humans.[1][2]

Norman Myers wrote about the concept in two articles in “The Environmentalist” (1988),[3] and 1990[4] revised after thorough analysis by Myers and others “Hotspots: Earth’s Biologically Richest and Most Endangered Terrestrial Ecoregions”[5] and a paper published in the journal Nature.[6]

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.[6] Around the world, 36 areas qualify under this definition.[7] These sites support nearly 60% of the world's plant, bird, mammal, reptile, and amphibian species, with a very high share of those species as endemics. Some of these hotspots support up to 15,000 endemic plant species and some have lost up to 95% of their natural habitat.[7]

Biodiversity hotspots host their diverse ecosystems on just 2.3% of the planet's surface,[8] however, the area defined as hotspots covers a much larger proportion of the land. The original 25 hotspots covered 11.8% of the land surface area of the Earth.[9] Overall, the current hotspots cover more than 16% of the land surface area, but have lost around 85% of their habitat.[10] This loss of habitat explains why approximately 60% of the world's terrestrial life lives on only 2.3% of the land surface area.

Hotspot conservation initiatives

Only a small percentage of the total land area within biodiversity hotspots is now protected. Several international organizations are working in many ways to conserve biodiversity hotspots.

  • Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) is a global program that provides funding and technical assistance to nongovernmental organizations and participation to protect the Earth's richest regions of plant and animal diversity including: biodiversity hotspots, high-biodiversity wilderness areas and important marine regions.
  • The World Wide Fund for Nature has derived a system called the "Global 200 Ecoregions", the aim of which is to select priority Ecoregions for conservation within each of 14 terrestrial, 3 freshwater, and 4 marine habitat types. They are chosen for their species richness, endemism, taxonomic uniqueness, unusual ecological or evolutionary phenomena, and global rarity. All biodiversity hotspots contain at least one Global 200 Ecoregion.
  • Birdlife International has identified 218 “Endemic Bird Areas” (EBAs) each of which hold two or more bird species found nowhere else. Birdlife International has identified more than 11,000 Important Bird Areas[11] all over the world.
  • Plant life International coordinates several the world aiming to identify Important Plant Areas.
  • Alliance for Zero Extinction is an initiative of a large number of scientific organizations and conservation groups who co-operate to focus on the most threatened endemic species of the world. They have identified 595 sites, including a large number of Birdlife’ s Important Bird Areas.
  • The National Geographic Society has prepared a world map[12] of the hotspots and ArcView shapefile and metadata for the Biodiversity Hotspots[13] including details of the individual endangered fauna in each hotspot, which is available from Conservation International.[14]

By the influence of that the central government of india arrived a new authority named CAMPA(compensatorry afforestation fund management and planning authority) to control the destruction of forests and biological spots in india

Distribution by region

Biodiversity Hotspots
Biodiversity hotspots. Original proposal in green, and added regions in blue.

North and Central America

The Caribbean

South America



Central Asia

South Asia

South East Asia and Asia-Pacific

East Asia

West Asia

Critiques of "Hotspots"

The high profile of the biodiversity hotspots approach has resulted in some criticism. Papers such as Kareiva & Marvier (2003)[17] have argued that the biodiversity hotspots:

  • Do not adequately represent other forms of species richness (e.g. total species richness or threatened species richness).
  • Do not adequately represent taxa other than vascular plants (e.g. vertebrates, or fungi).
  • Do not protect smaller scale richness hotspots.
  • Do not make allowances for changing land use patterns. Hotspots represent regions that have experienced considerable habitat loss, but this does not mean they are experiencing ongoing habitat loss. On the other hand, regions that are relatively intact (e.g. the Amazon Basin) have experienced relatively little land loss, but are currently losing habitat at tremendous rates.
  • Do not protect ecosystem services.
  • Do not consider phylogenetic diversity.[18]

A recent series of papers has pointed out that biodiversity hotspots (and many other priority region sets) do not address the concept of cost.[19] The purpose of biodiversity hotspots is not simply to identify regions that are of high biodiversity value, but to prioritize conservation spending. The regions identified include some in the developed world (e.g. the California Floristic Province), alongside others in the developing world (e.g. Madagascar). The cost of land is likely to vary between these regions by an order of magnitude or more, but the biodiversity hotspot designations do not consider the conservation importance of this difference. However, the available resources for conservation also tend to vary in this way.

See also


  1. ^ "Biodiversity Hotspots in India".
  2. ^ "Why Hotspots Matter". Conservation International.
  3. ^ Myers, N. The Environmentalist 8 187-208 (1988)
  4. ^ Myers, N. The Environmentalist 10 243-256 (1990)
  5. ^ Russell A. Mittermeier, Norman Myers and Cristina Goettsch Mittermeier, Hotspots: Earth's Biologically Richest and Most Endangered Terrestrial Ecoregions, Conservation International, 2000 ISBN 978-968-6397-58-1
  6. ^ a b Myers, Norman; Mittermeier, Russell A.; Mittermeier, Cristina G.; da Fonseca, Gustavo A. B.; Kent, Jennifer (2000). "Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities" (PDF). Nature. 403 (6772): 853–858. doi:10.1038/35002501. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 10706275.
  7. ^ a b - Biodiversity Hotspots Defined - Biodiversity Hotspots Defined Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 2019-01-24. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ "Why Hotspots Matter". Conservation International.
  9. ^ "Biodiversity Hotspots in India".
  10. ^ "Biodiversity Hotspots".
  11. ^ [1] Archived August 8, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Conservation International" (PDF). The Biodiversity Hotspots. 2010-10-07. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-27. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
  13. ^ "Conservation International". The Biodiversity Hotspots. 2010-10-07. Archived from the original on 2012-03-20. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
  14. ^ "Resources". 2010-10-07. Archived from the original on 2012-03-24. Retrieved 2012-06-22.
  15. ^ "North American Coastal Plain". Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  16. ^ Noss, Reed F.; Platt, William J.; Sorrie, Bruce A.; Weakley, Alan S; Means, D. Bruce; Costanza, Jennifer; Peet, Robert K. (2015). "How global biodiversity hotspots may go unrecognized: lessons from the North American Coastal Plain". Diversity and Distributions. 21 (2): 236–244. doi:10.1111/ddi.12278.
  17. ^ Kareiva, P. and M. Marvier (2003) Conserving Biodiversity Coldspots, American Scientist, 91, 344-351.
  18. ^ Daru, Barnabas H.; van der Bank, Michelle; Davies, T. Jonathan (2014). "Spatial incongruence among hotspots and complementary areas of tree diversity in southern Africa". Diversity and Distributions. 21 (7): 769–780. doi:10.1111/ddi.12290.
  19. ^ Possingham, H. and K. Wilson (2005) Turning up the heat on hotspots, Nature, 436, 919-920.

External links

Further reading

California Floristic Province

The California Floristic Province (CFP) is a floristic province with a Mediterranean-type climate located on the Pacific Coast of North America with a distinctive flora similar to other regions with a winter rainfall and summer drought climate like the Mediterranean Basin. This biodiversity hotspot is known for being the home of the Sierran giant sequoia tree and its close relative the coast redwood. In 1996, the Province was designated as a biodiversity hotspot allowing it to join ranks among 33 other areas in the world with a large number of endemic species. To be named a biodiversity hotspot, an area has to contain species and plant life that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The California Floristic Province is home to over 3,000 species of vascular plants, 60% of which are endemic to the province.The California Floristic Province belongs to the Madrean Region of the Holarctic (or Boreal) Floristic Kingdom. As part of the Madrean Region, it is bordered on its east by the Great Basin Floristic Province, and to the south and southwest by the Sonoran Province (which includes the Mojave, Colorado, Sonoran, and Baja California Deserts). To the north, the region is bordered by the Vancouverian Province of the Rocky Mountain Region, and much of coastal and mountain Northern California and southwestern Oregon are defined as falling into either province depending on a given author's delimitations.

With an area of 293,803 km2 (113,438 sq mi), as defined by Conservation International, it includes 70% of California and extends into southwestern Oregon, a small part of western Nevada and northern Baja California. The province is bordered by, and sometimes defined as partly coincident with, the Rocky Mountain Floristic Region in the north. This boundary is poorly defined as some leading geobotanists, including Robert F. Thorne (Flora of North America) and Armen Takhtajan, include Oregon and Northern California within the Rocky Mountain Province.The California Floristic Province is a world biodiversity hotspot as defined by Conservation International, due to an unusually high concentration of endemic plants: approximately 8,000 plant species in the geographic region, and over 3,400 taxa limited to the CFP proper, as well as having lost over 70% of its primary vegetation. A biodiversity hotspot contains irreplaceable areas to the plants and animals that live there. Among these unique regions, almost every one of them is subject to their exclusive species being at greater risk from the impact of humans. The greatest threat to this area is wilderness destruction caused by large commercial farming industries and the heavy expansion of urban areas. Conservation International proposed a strategy in 1998, to focus more specifically on areas of the California Floristic Province that contained the most human impact in order to lower the threat to the region. The issues that are causing the most threats to this province include but are not limited to population pressures, loss of habitat, unsustainable resource use, and introduced non-native species.

Cape Floristic Region

The Cape Floristic Region is a floristic region located near the southern tip of South Africa. It is the only floristic region of the Cape (South African) Floristic Kingdom, and includes only one floristic province, known as the Cape Floristic Province.

The Cape Floristic Region, the smallest of the six recognised floral kingdoms of the world, is an area of extraordinarily high diversity and endemism, and is home to over 9,000 vascular plant species, of which 69 percent are endemic. Much of this diversity is associated with the fynbos biome, a Mediterranean-type, fire-prone shrubland. The economical worth of fynbos biodiversity, based on harvests of fynbos products (e.g. wildflowers) and eco-tourism, is estimated to be in the region of R77 million a year. Thus, it is clear that the Cape Floristic Region has both economic and intrinsic biological value as a biodiversity hotspot.

Fauna of Italy

Italy has the highest level of faunal biodiversity in Europe, with over 57,000 species recorded, representing more than a third of all European fauna. This is due to various factors. The Italian peninsula is in the center of the Mediterranean Sea, forming a corridor between central Europe and North Africa, and has 8,000 km of coastline. Italy also receives species from the Balkans, Eurasia, the Middle East. Italy's varied geological structure, including the Alps and the Apennines, Central Italian woodlands, and Southern Italian Garigue and Maquis shrubland, also contribute to high climate and habitat diversity.

Guatemala Biodiversity

According to Parkswatch and the IUCN, Guatemala is considered the fifth biodiversity hotspot in the world. The country has 14 ecoregions ranging from mangrove forest (4 species), in both ocean littorals, dry forests and scrublands in the eastern highlands, subtropical and tropical rain forests, wetlands, cloud forests in the Verapaz region, mixed forests and pine forests in the highlands.

Over one third of Guatemala (36.3% or about 39,380 km²) is forested (2005). About half of the forests (49.7% or roughly 19,570 km²) is classified as primary forest which is considered the most biodiverse forest type. Tree species include 17 conifers (pines, cypress, including the endemic Abies guatemalensis), the most in any tropical region of the world.

Guatemala has 7 wetlands of international importance that were included in the Ramsar List.Guatemala has some 1246 known species of amphibians, birds, mammals and reptiles according to figures from the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. Of these, 6.7% are endemic, meaning they exist in no other country, and 8.1% are threatened species. It is also home to at least 8681 species of vascular plants, of which 13.5% are endemic. 5.4% of the country is protected under IUCN categories I-V.

With a total of 123 protected areas and more than 29% of the territory declared a protected area, Guatemala has the largest percentage of protected areas in Central America. Tikal National Park, which was created in 1955, was the first mixed UNESCO World Heritage Site in the world.

Guinean Forests of West Africa

The Guinean forests of West Africa is a biodiversity hotspot designated by Conservation International, which includes the belt of tropical moist broadleaf forests along the coast of West Africa, running from Sierra Leone and Guinea in the west to the Sanaga River of Cameroon in the east. The Dahomey Gap, a region of savanna and dry forest in Togo and Benin, divides the Guinean forests into the Upper Guinean forests and Lower Guinean forests.

The Upper Guinean forests extend from Sierra Leone and Guinea in the west through Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire, and Ghana to Togo in the east. The Lower Guinean forests extend east from Benin through Nigeria and Cameroon. The Lower Guinean forests also extend south past the Sanaga River, the southern boundary of the hotspot, into southern Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Cabinda, and Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Kunming Institute of Zoology

Kunming Institute of Zoology (KIZ) (中国科学院昆明动物研究所), one of the 20 biological institutes under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), is one of China's first class zoological research institutes, located in Kunming, Yunnan province. The Institute has access to the unique and diversified animal resources of the Eastern Himalayas as well as a wide variety of the species from across Southeast Asia, the southern parts of Yunnan province being part of the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot. KIZ focuses on life science research, with research groups including systematic zoology, conservation biology, cytology, molecular biology, genome evolution, reproductive and developmental biology, neurobiology, immunological biology on important virus disease, zoological toxicology and primate biology.

Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Hotspot

The Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Hotspot is a Biodiversity hotspot in Southern Africa. It is situated in the south eastern South African coast below the Great Escarpment. The area is named after Maputaland, Pondoland and Albany. It stretches from the Albany Centre of Plant Endemism in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, through the Pondoland Centre of Plant Endemism and KwaZulu-Natal Province, the eastern side of Swaziland and into southern Mozambique and Mpumalanga. The Maputaland Centre of Plant Endemism is contained in northern KwaZulu-Natal and southern Mozambique.

Mount Frankland National Park

Mount Frankland National Park is a national park in the South West region of Western Australia, 327 km (203 mi) south of Perth. The park is part of the larger Walpole Wilderness Area that was established in 2004, an international biodiversity hotspot.

Mount Namuli

Mount Namuli is the second highest mountain in Mozambique and the highest in the Province of Zambezia. It is 2,419 m (7,936 ft) high and was measured, surveyed and described in 1886 by Henry Edward O'Neill, the British consul in Mozambique. The Namuli massif consists of a level plateau with the granite dome of Mount Namuli above. The area was historically clad in tropical rainforest and is an important biodiversity hotspot with many endemic species of animals and plants. The lower slopes are now mainly used for the cultivation of tea and the middle slopes for other agricultural purposes, with indigenous forest now mostly restricted to the higher parts and corridors along water courses.

Pacific/Chocó natural region

The Pacific/Chocó natural region is one of the five major natural regions of Colombia. Ecologically, this region belongs entirely to the Chocó Biogeographic Region and is considered a biodiversity hotspot. It also has areas with the highest rainfall in the world, with areas near Quibdo, Chocó reaching up to 13,000 mm (510 in) annually.


The Richtersveld is a desert landscape characterised by rugged kloofs and high mountains, situated in the north-western corner of South Africa’s Northern Cape province. It is full of changing scenery from flat, sandy, coastal plains, to craggy sharp mountains of volcanic rock and the lushness of the Orange River, which forms the border with neighboring Namibia. The area ranges in altitude from sea level, to 1,377 m (4,518 ft) at Cornellberg. Located in the north-eastern side of the Northern Cape province in South Africa, the Richtersveld is regarded as the only arid biodiversity hotspot on earth and the majority of the area is inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List due to its cultural values.

The Nama people people of Richtersveld claimed title to their traditional land and set aside this conservancy for future research and tourism. The northern part of the area was proclaimed in 1991 after 18 years of negotiations between the National Parks Board and the local Nama people who continue to live and graze their livestock in the area. It has an area of 1,624.45 square kilometres (627.20 sq mi). This is a space for Nama people who live what is known as a transhumant lifestyle – where they migrate seasonally with their livestock and make use of a fragile succulent ecosystem. The community conservancy is bordered to the north by the Richtersveld National Park (managed by the Richtersveld community and the South African National Parks) the Nababiep Provincial Nature Reserve and designated community grazing areas that allow the Nama people to continue with their lifestyle.

Shannon National Park

Shannon National Park is a national park on the south coast of Western Australia, 302 km (188 mi) south of Perth and 55 km (34 mi) southeast of Manjimup. It was declared a national park in 1988. The park covers the entire Shannon River basin. It is part of the larger Walpole Wilderness Area that was established in 2004, an international biodiversity hotspot.The area contains biologically rich wetlands and heathlands as well as old growth and regrowth karri forests. The area remained largely untouched by logging until the 1940s due to the inaccessibility of the area. A timber mill and the town of Shannon were established in the mid-1940s as a result of a timber shortage during World War II. The town once boasted over 90 homes and a hall, post office, church and nursing station. A dam was built in 1949 to guarantee water supply during the summer months.The mill eventually closed in 1968 and the houses were sold and moved leaving the townsite empty and a campground now stands were the town once did. The area was gazetted as a national park in 1988 and is now part of the Walpole Wilderness Area.

The campgrounds contain toilets, gas barbecues, hot water showers and two huts available to campers on a first come first served basis. Entry fees apply for the park.A 48 km (30 mi) unsealed road called the Great Forest Trees Drive was completed in 1996 and provides tourists with the opportunity to view many of the features of the park. There are information stops, picnic areas and walks located along the drive.

South West, Western Australia

Names such as the South West or South West corner, when used to refer to a specific area of Western Australia, denote a region that has been defined in several different ways.

While styles like South-West and Southwest have sometimes been used, most media outlets and official sources in Western Australia now use Australian English spelling conventions, under which the names of intercardinal points are two separate and unhyphenated words, i.e. "South West".

Such names now usually refer to areas immediately south of the Perth metropolitan area and west of the Wheatbelt. Its narrowest and most specific usage is in reference to the official, government-designated South West region. However, broader usages may include the entire south-western quarter of Australia.

In regard to Western Australia, "South West" may refer to:

Electoral region of South West – a multi-member electorate of the Western Australian Legislative Council

South West drainage division – a drainage region

South West Land Division – a cadastral (land administration) region

South West Seismic Zone – a seismic region

Southwest Australia (ecoregion) – a biodiversity hotspot and botanical region

Southwest Australia (ecoregion)

Southwest Australia is a biodiversity hotspot in Western Australia, it is also known as the Southwest Australia Global Diversity Hotspot, as well as Kwongan.

Succulent Karoo

The Succulent Karoo is a desert ecoregion of South Africa and Namibia.


Tumbes-Chocó-Magdalena is a biodiversity hotspot, which includes the tropical moist forests and tropical dry forests of the Pacific coast of South America and the Galapagos Islands. The region extends from easternmost Panama to the lower Magdalena Valley of Colombia, and along the Pacific coast of Colombia and Ecuador to the northwestern corner of Peru. Formerly called the Chocó-Darién-Western Ecuador Hotspot, it has been expanded to include several new areas, notably the Magdalena Valley in northern Colombia. It is bounded on the east by the Andes Mountains. The Tumbes-Choco-Magdalena Hotspot is 1,500 km long and encircles 274,597 km². Tumbes-Choco-Magdalena is near the Pacific Ocean. The factors that threaten Tumbes-Choco-Magdalena are farming encroachment, deforestation, illegal crops, and population growth. Whereas the Panamanian and Colombian portion of the hotspot are relatively intact, approximately 98% of native forest in coastal Ecuador has been cleared, rendering it the most threatened tropical forest in the world. The hotspot includes a wide variety of habitats, ranging from mangroves, beaches, rocky shorelines, and coastal wilderness to some of the world's wettest rain forests in the Colombian Chocó. The hotspot includes a number of ecoregions:

Chocó-Darién moist forests (Colombia, Ecuador, Panama)

Ecuadorian dry forests (Ecuador)

Guayaquil flooded grasslands (Ecuador)

Gulf of Guayaquil-Tumbes mangroves (Ecuador, Peru)

Galápagos Islands xeric scrub (Ecuador)

Magdalena Valley montane forests (Colombia)

Magdalena-Urabá moist forests (Colombia)

Manabí mangroves (Ecuador)

Tumbes-Piura dry forests (Ecuador, Peru)

Piura mangroves (Peru)

Western Ecuador moist forests (Colombia, Ecuador)Some of the endemic species of this hotspot are the following:

Endemic Plant Species: 2,750

Endemic Threatened Birds: 21

Endemic Threatened Mammals: 7

Endemic Threatened Amphibians: 8

Human Population Density (people/km²): 51

Walpole-Nornalup National Park

Walpole-Nornalup National Park is a national park in the South West region of Western Australia, 355 km (221 mi) south of Perth. It is famous for its towering Karri and Tingle trees. Red Tingle trees are unique to the Walpole area.

The park is part of the larger Walpole Wilderness Area that was established in 2004, an international biodiversity hotspot.

Wildlife of Guinea

The wildlife of Guinea is very diverse due to the wide variety of different habitats. The southern part of the country lies within Guinean Forests of West Africa Biodiversity Hotspot, while the north-east is characterized by dry savanna woodlands. Ecoregions of Guinea are Western Guinean lowland forest, Guinean montane forest, Guinean forest-savanna mosaic, West Sudanian Savanna, and Guinean mangroves.

Declining populations of large mammals are restricted to uninhabited distant parts of parks and reserves, because of the inappropriate nature conservation. A noteworthy NGO specialized to nature conservation is Guinean Park Foundation. Famous strongholds of Guinean wildlife are Pinselly Classified Forest, National Park of Upper Niger, Badiar National Park, Mount Nimba Strict Nature Reserve, Ziama Massif, and Diécké Classified Forest.

Xingyi, Guizhou

Xingyi (simplified Chinese: 兴义; traditional Chinese: 興義; pinyin: Xīngyì) is a county-level city administered by the Qianxinan Buyei and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, in the southwest of Guizhou Province, China.

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