A Biodiversity Hotspot - What On Earth is That?

Updated: Oct 8, 2020



When discussing conservation and protection of the earth’s animals and plants the term “biodiversity hotspot” is often mentioned. But what does that actually mean, and why are these areas so important compared to other areas?


A biodiversity hotspot is a biographic region with significantly high levels of biodiversity that also meet two strict criteria:


1:The area must contain at least 1500 species of endemic vascular plants

2: The area has to have lost 70% of its primary vegetation


Now, watch this 2 minute movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaQBaVeEbW8


Around the world only 36 areas qualify under this definition- BUT these few sites support nearly 60% of the worlds plant, bird, mammal, reptile and amphibian species with a very high share of those species endemic to those specific ares. An endemic species is a species that only live in a certain area and has adapted perfectly to that specific area, which is also why species in biodiversity hotspots are fragile- if the area the live in gets destroyed, the species go extinct.


Phyllomedusa Trinitatis tree frog endemic to Trinidad


The Indo-Burma region ranks among the world's top 10 "biodiversity hotspots”. As the plant and animal life here is so rich, diverse and perfectly adapted to the pristine forests they inhabit, these areas are also particularly susceptible to human encroachment like development, deforestation and fragmentation. The Indo-Burma Hotspot includes all non-marine parts of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, plus parts of southern China.


Humans make out only 0.001 % of all life, including bacteria (13 %), plants (82%), all other creatures like from insects to fungi to fish and animals make up just 5% on our planet. Even thoug we are an insignificant part of all life we humans have but have destroyed 83% of all wildlife on our planet so far- many of which come from these "biodiversity hotspots"


Biodiversity hotspots of South East Asia

The Huntsman spider is endemic to Indo Burma




Additional information:

Biodiversity Hotspots Explained : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaQBaVeEbW8

Biodiversity in the Mekong : https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/mekong-river-region-named-global-biodiversity-hotspot-by-wwf-after-367-new-species-are-discovered-in-9486539.html





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