definition of Wikipedia
The concept of biodiversity hotspots was originated by Norman Myers in two articles in “The Environmentalist” (1988), & 1990 revised after thorough analysis by Myers and others in “Hotspots: Earth’s Biologically Richest and Most Endangered Terrestrial Ecoregions”.
To qualify as a biodiversity hotspot on Myers 2000 edition of the hotspot-map, a region must meet two strict criteria: it must contain at least 0.5% or 1,500 species of vascular plants as endemics, and it has to have lost at least 70% of its primary vegetation. Around the world, 25 areas qualify under this definition, with nine others possible candidates. These sites support nearly 60% of the world's plant, bird, mammal, reptile, and amphibian species, with a very high share of endemic species.
Only a small percentage of the total land area within biodiversity hotspots is now protected. Several international organizations are working in many ways to conserve biodiversity hotspots.
These initiatives are all based on scientific criteria and quantitative thresholds.
North and Central America
The high profile of the biodiversity hotspots approach has resulted in considerable criticism. Papers such as Kareiva & Marvier (2003) have argued that the biodiversity hotspots:
A recent series of papers has pointed out that biodiversity hotspots (and many other priority region sets) do not address the concept of cost. The purpose of biodiversity hotspots is not simply to identify regions that are of high biodiversity value, but to prioritize conservation spending. The regions identified include regions in the developed world (e.g. the California Floristic Province), alongside regions in the developing world (e.g. Madagascar). The cost of land is likely to vary between these regions by an order of magnitude or more, but the biodiversity hotspots do not consider the conservation importance of this difference.
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