There are places on Earth that are both biologically rich — and deeply threatened. For our own sake, we must work to protect them.
Species are the building blocks of Earth's life-support systems. We all depend on them.
But our planet’s “biodiversity,” the vast array of life on Earth, faces a crisis of historic proportions. Development, urbanization, pollution, disease — they’re all wreaking havoc on the tree of life. Today, species are going extinct at the fastest rate since the mass extinction of the dinosaurs.
To stem this crisis, we must protect the places where biodiversity lives. But species aren’t evenly distributed around the planet. Certain areas have large numbers of endemic species — those found nowhere else. Many of these are heavily threatened by habitat loss and other human activities. These areas are the
biodiversity hotspots, 36 regions where success in conserving species can have an enormous impact in securing our global biodiversity.
The forests and other remnant habitats in hotspots represent just 2.4% of Earth’s land surface. But you’d be hard-pressed to find another 2.4% of the planet that’s more important.