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Biodiversity Hotspots

  • Any biogeographic region rich in biodiversity facing threat of destruction is termed as a Biodiversity Hotspot.
  • The term Biodiversity Hotspot was first coined by Norman Myers in his article “The Environmentalist” in 1988.
  • He wrote another article “Hotspots: Earth’s Biologically Richest and Most Endangered Terrestrial Ecoregions” where he discussed the concept in detail.

  • The objective to identify Biodiversity Hotspots on a global scale is to protect and conserve these biodiversity rich areas.
  • There are total 36 Biodiversity Hotspots in the world.

Table 1: List of Biodiversity Hotspots

North and Central America 1. California Floristic Province

2. Madrean pine-oak woodlands

3. Mesoamaerica

4. North American Coastal Plain

The Caribbean 5. Caribbean islands
South America 6. Alantic Forest

7. Cerrado

8. Chilean Winter Rainfal-Valdivian Forest

9. Tumbes-Chocó-Magdalena

10. Tropical Andes

Europe 11. Mediterranean Basin
Africa 12. Cape Floristic Region

13. Coastal Forest of Eastern Africa

14. Eastern Afromontane

15. Guinean Forest of West Africa

16. Horn of Africa

17. Madagascar and Indian Ocean Islands

18. Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany

19. Succulent Karoo

Central Asia 20. Mountains of Central Asia
South Asia 21. Eastern Himalayas

22. Indo Burma, India and Myanmar
23. Western Ghats and Sri Lanka

South East Asia and Asia Pacific 24. East Melanesian Islands

25. New Caledonia

26. New Zealand

27. Philippines

28. Polynesia-Micronesia

29. Eastern Australia Temperate Forest

30. South West Australia

31. Sundaland and Nicobar Islands of India

32. Wallacea

East Asia 33. Japan

34. Mountains of Southwest China

West Asia 35. Caucasus

36. Irano-Antolian

Source: Conservation International 2005


India shares 4 major Biodiversity Hotspots of the world.

Eastern Himalayas

  • Includes the entire Indian Himalayan region (also includes parts of Pakistan, Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, China and Myanmar)
  • High endemism of plants up to 31.6 % and that of Amphibians and reptiles 40% and 27.3% respectively
  • Himalayan Quail, Cheer pheasant, Western Tragopan are some endemic species found here

Source: Assessment of freshwater molluscs of the Eastern Himalaya hotspot – Scientific Figure on ResearchGate. Available from: [accessed 9 Oct, 2019]

  • Includes Nicobar group of islands and south east Asian countries of Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Philippines
  • Some endemic species found here are hawk-eagles, Bali starlings, Pig-tailed langurs, Slender toads, Komodo dragons, Asian arowanas, and Proboscis monkeys etc


Western Ghats and Sri Lanka

  • Includes Western Ghats and Sri Lanka
  • Some endemic species are Lion tailed Macaque, crimson backed sunbird etc.
  • Plant Endemism is 51.5% and that of Amphibians, Reptiles and freshwater fishes is 73%, 65.2% and 72.8% respectively
Source: Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, Conservation International Report 2011


Indo- Burma and India

  • Includes entire North-eastern India, except Assam and Andaman group of Islands (and Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and southern China)
  • Eld’s deer, Cat Ba langur, Fishing cat, Giant ibis, Mekong giant catfish are some endangered species present in this area
Source: Conservation International, 2007

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