Protecting Ecosystems

figure 22-11

An international group of conservation biologists identified these 25 regions (shaded in green) as biodiversity hotspots. These regions contain especially high densities of unique but threatened species.

Ecosystem protection is clearly very important in the long term. But in the short term, economic costs and human freedoms should also be considered. How can society protect ecosystems while protecting individuals' property rights and economic opportunities? One strategy is to focus protection efforts on the regions that currently harbor most of Earth's biodiversity.

figure 22-11

An international group of conservation biologists identified these 25 regions (shaded in green) as biodiversity hotspots. These regions contain especially high densities of unique but threatened species.

Chocö-Darien and Western Ecuador

Marinkelle's sword-nosed bat

New Zealand

Southwest Australia

Chocö-Darien and Western Ecuador

Marinkelle's sword-nosed bat

New Zealand

Southwest Australia

Biodiversity Hotspots

In the face of crisis, conservationists look for efficient strategies to protect biodiversity. Many have decided to focus on ecological regions that are richest in unique species and that are most in need of protection. In 2000, an international group identified 25 of these biodiversity hotspots, shown in Figure 22-11. These regions contain about 44 percent of all species of vascular plants and 35 percent of all species in four groups of vertebrates. Yet, these regions cover less than 2 percent of the globe. Three of the hotspots include parts of the United States. Internationally, governments and conservation organizations are looking for ways to preserve large enough portions of these hotspots to ensure the survival of a majority of species.

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www.scilinks.org Topic: Conservation Keyword: HM60344

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Maintained by the

Maintained by the ri At 11 j National Science }.\t\ Teachers Association

www.scilinks.org Topic: Conservation Keyword: HM60344

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