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      Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities.

      Nature

      Animals, Conservation of Natural Resources, Ecosystem, Plants, Research Support as Topic

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          Abstract

          Conservationists are far from able to assist all species under threat, if only for lack of funding. This places a premium on priorities: how can we support the most species at the least cost? One way is to identify 'biodiversity hotspots' where exceptional concentrations of endemic species are undergoing exceptional loss of habitat. As many as 44% of all species of vascular plants and 35% of all species in four vertebrate groups are confined to 25 hotspots comprising only 1.4% of the land surface of the Earth. This opens the way for a 'silver bullet' strategy on the part of conservation planners, focusing on these hotspots in proportion to their share of the world's species at risk.

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          Most cited references 24

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          The future of biodiversity.

          Recent extinction rates are 100 to 1000 times their pre-human levels in well-known, but taxonomically diverse groups from widely different environments. If all species currently deemed "threatened" become extinct in the next century, then future extinction rates will be 10 times recent rates. Some threatened species will survive the century, but many species not now threatened will succumb. Regions rich in species found only within them (endemics) dominate the global patterns of extinction. Although new technology provides details of habitat losses, estimates of future extinctions are hampered by our limited knowledge of which areas are rich in endemics.
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            Beyond opportunism: Key principles for systematic reserve selection.

            The intention and practice of conservation reserve selection are different. A major reason for systems of reserves is to sustain biological diversity. This involves protecting examples of as many natural features, e.g. species, communities or environments, as possible. In reality, however, new reserves have rarely been dedicated for their representation of features. Furthermore, the opportunism that has characterized the development of reserve systems can actually jeopardize the representation of all features in reserves through the inefficient allocation of limited resources. More systematic approaches are essential if reserves are to play their role in protecting biodiversity. Some basic principles for conservation planning are emerging from recent systematic procedures for reserve selection. These principles will help to link intention and practice. Copyright © 1993. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
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              Threatened biotas: "Hot spots" in tropical forests

               Norman Myers (1988)
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                10706275
                10.1038/35002501

                Chemistry

                Animals, Conservation of Natural Resources, Ecosystem, Plants, Research Support as Topic

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