Biodiversity hotspot case studies

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Hotspot Climate type Biome type Biodiversity Threats Conservation
Madagascan Tropical along Tropical Total of eight plant families, four bird families, and five Because humans Madagascar, the
and Indian the coast, rainforest primate families that are endemic to Madagascar. More than did not arrive on government is
ocean temperate tropical 50 lemur species. the islands until beginning the third
islands inland. Arid in rainforests Taxonomic Group Species Endemic Species Per cent Endemism 1,500-2,000 years phase of its
Small island the south. along the Plants 13,000 11,600 89.2 ago, native animals national
hotspot eastern Mammals 155 144 92.9
were naïve and Environmental
escarpment easily slaughtered Action Plan, with an
Birds 310 181 58.4
and in the by the colonists. ambitious five-year
eastern Reptiles 384 367 95.6 The Malagasy program of
lowlands give Amphibians 230 229 99.6 people came to conservation and
way to Freshwater Fishes 164 97 59.1 Madagascar from sustainable
western dry Africa and Asia management
deciduous and imported activities. Today,
forests along agricultural about 2.7% of
the western methods, like rice Madagascar's land
coast. A unique cultivation, area (16,131 km²)
spiny desert slash-and-burn is officially
covers the agriculture, and protected in 46
extreme south. cattle grazing, legally protected
The island is which are areas, including
also host to inappropriate for national parks,
several high infertile, lateritic strict nature
mountain soils and reserves
ecosystems devastating to the established to
such as fragile ecosystems conserve
Tsaratanana of the island. The ecosystems and
and central plateau of special reserves
Andringitra Madagascar is designed to
massifs, which almost completely protect a
are deforested - a particular species
characterized lifeless moonscape or a group of
by forest with of infertile, baked species. At the
moss and red earth. It is World Parks
lichens. The estimated that Congress in
Sambirano only about 17% September 2003,

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Madagascar Madagascar, Marc
transition zone remains, with most Ravalomanana
between the remaining forests announced plans to
western dry found along the triple protected
forest and the eastern, western, area coverage over
eastern and southern the next five years
rainforest coasts. and asked for $50
that has many The nearly 18 million in assistance
of its own million people who from the
endemic live in Madagascar international
species. today do not community to do so.…read more

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Introduction of
invasive alien
species, brought as
food sources, pets,
or for pest
control. Rats, cats
and mongooses
have devastated
populations of
birds and small
reptiles, while
grazing rabbits,
goats, pigs, and
deer have denuded
many landscapes
Cape Mediterranean Mediterranean Only hotspot that encompasses an entire floral kingdom, and Agricultural According to the
floristic holds five of South Africa's 12 endemic plant families and expansion has World Database on
region 160 endemic genera.…read more

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Human Population Density (people/km 2) 51 cut flowers, and, of the lowlands,
Area Protected (km ) 10.859 of course, which are the most
Area Protected (km 2) in Categories IIV* 10.154
vineyards pose a vulnerable, are
significant threat under some form of
to the remaining protection.
Urban Although the high
encroachment and costs of land
development, purchase and park
particularly near management
activities have
the city of Cape
posed serious
Town, is a threat
challenges to
to natural conservation in the
habitats.…read more

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Australia, the native vegetation
Mediterranean and protection of
Basin, and watersheds. The
California have program has
created 3,600 jobs
been introduced
in the region and
into the region to
led to the clearing
supplement the of nearly 500 km²
few tree species of alien growth,
native to the Cape. one of the most
These alien species impressive efforts
have invaded about of its kind in the
70 percent of world.…read more

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Cape Floristic
being free of Region World
invasive alien Heritage Site, one
plants and subject of which includes
to appropriate fire
National Botanical
Garden, the first
time that a
botanical garden
has been
recognized as a
world heritage site
for its biodiversity.
The areas included
in the world
heritage site are
Table Mountain,
Baviaanskloof, De
Hoop Nature
Reserve, Boland
Mountain Complex,
Groot Winterhoek
Wilderness Area,
Wilderness Area,
and Cederberg
Wilderness Area.…read more

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It is hoped that
UNESCO listing will
help to encourage
the 'biodiversity
economy' in the
region, and will
eco-tourism and
better planning and
management of the
region's incredibly
rich natural
protected areas,
and scenic
landscapes for the
benefit of all
South Africans.…read more

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Cederberg and
Gouritz, and to
build the capacity
of previously
disadvantaged local
conservationists.…read more


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