Dry forests represent a biome that occurs in the tropics and sub-tropics, consisting of a chiefly deciduous tree mix. The climate consists of not only of less rainfall than most other forest types, but contains a long dry season. Endemism is often high, not only of plant species, but also vertebrates.
Madagascar dry deciduous forestsLast Updated on 2014-04-11 16:42:42The Madagascar dry deciduous forests of western Madagascar are some of the world’s richest and most distinctive tropical dry forests. They are characterized by very high local plant and animal endemism at the species, genera and family levels. A significant portion of these forests have already been cleared, and the remaining forests are fragmented and critically threatened by uncontrolled burning and clearing for grazing and agriculture. Since human settlement of this region, an estimated 97 percent of the island’s dry deciduous western forests have been destroyed, and those remaining are extremely localized and fragmented. This ecoregion also contains spectacular limestone karst formations, known as tsingy, and their associated forests, including the World Heritage Site of Bemaraha. The river systems and wetlands of this ecoregion are also critically endangered habitats,... More »
Lesser Sundas deciduous forestsLast Updated on 2014-04-09 17:50:17The Lesser Sundas deciduous forests are found on a string of volcanic islands. They stretch across the Java Sea between Australia and Borneo. It is part of a unique biogeographic region known as Wallacea, which contains a very distinctive fauna representing a mix of Asian and Australasian species. These distinctive seasonal dry forests harbor unique species, including the Komodo dragon, the largest lizard in the world, and seventeen bird species found nowhere else on Earth. A combination of shifting agriculture and human-caused fires has significantly reduced the amount of natural forest in this ecoregion.
This ecoregion represents the semi-evergreen dry forests in the Lesser Sunda Islands. It extends east from the islands of Lombok and Sumbawa to Flores and Alor in the Indonesian Archipelago. Rinjani volcano on Lombok is the highest mountain in the ecoregion, at 3726 meters... More »
Canary Islands dry woodlands and forestsLast Updated on 2014-04-08 18:25:45The Canary Islands dry woodlands and forests is situated on the Canary Island Archipelago; despite the small land area, this ecoregion is one of the most biodiverse parts of the temperate regions of the world. The biodiversity of these unique volcanic islands is endemic and relict. The islands support a wide variety of endemic taxa produced by evolutionary processes due to isolation. In some taxa, like coleopters, endemicity reaches 70 percent of the native species found in the Canary Islands. Moreover, living fossil plants from the Tertiary geological period are still present in the islands laurel forests (laurisilva). Based on vegetation, more than 70 different terrestrial ecological communities can be described for this ecoregion. The conservation of the habitats of the Canary Islands has much improved in recent years, but there are still threats faced by the habitats and endemic... More »
Chilean matorralLast Updated on 2014-01-14 13:26:57The Chilean matorral is an ecoregion in western central Chile that covers an area of approximately 57,300 square miles. This ecoregion is classified within the Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub biome. Exhibiting high plant and vertebrate endemism, the entire ecoregion is classified as critically endangered due to intensive deforestation and persistent high air pollution due to pressures of a burgeoning human population. The reptilian endemism is particularly notable, especially with respect to the tree iguanas; moreover, there are numerous reptiles, birds and mammals of threatened conservation status that can be found in the Chilean matorral.
Significant invasion of herbs has taken place from species introduced from the Mediterranean Basin during the Spanish settlement period beginning in the sixteenth century; these effects have been exacerbated by the inherent low... More »
Eastern Mediterranean conifer-sclerophyllous-broadleaf forestsLast Updated on 2013-12-18 01:07:38The Eastern Mediterranean conifer-sclerophyllous-broadleaf forests ecoregion lies in the heart of the Middle East along the Levantine Sea coasts of Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Israel, as well as in the neighbouring coastal plains and lowlands. Major avian migratory routes pass through this Palaearctic realm, contributing to its status as an area of high bird biodiversity. There is considerable flora and fauna species richness in the ecoregion, with 522 vertebrate taxa being recorded here. The ecoregion is also home to a number of globally threatened wildlife species, including the critically endangered Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita CR) and Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus monachus CR), the endangered Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta EN) and the endangered Euphrates Softshell Turtle (Rafetus euphraticus EN), and the vulnerable Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca VU). This... More »
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