Thursday, March 24, 2005

NEWS - Threatened species concentrated in fraction of Earth's surface

This report from last month's Guardian Unlimited explains how...
Seventy-five per cent of the most threatened mammals, birds and amphibians live in an area covering just 2.3% of the Earth's surface, and roughly half of all flowering plant species and 42% of land-based vertebrates exist in 34 "hotspots", a four-year study by 400 scientists has found.
The Madagascar and the Indian Ocean Islands hotspot was found to have very high concentrations of plant and vertebrate families that are found nowhere else on Earth. "We now know that by concentrating on the hotspots, we are not only protecting species, but deep lineages of evolutionary history.