Image: California montane chaparral plant community, Santa Ynez Mountains, Santa Barbara County, Southern California. Source: Wikimedia Commons.
California coastal sage and chaparralLast Updated on 2013-12-05 20:18:34
The California coastal sage and chaparral ecoregion, located along the southern and central coast of California, has extremely high levels of species diversity and endemism. The coastal sage scrub is an endangered ecosystem that contains a number of endangered species. The California Gnatcatcher is currently being used as an umbrella species to protect the endemic flora and fauna of this region from urban development. The region is listed as an Endemic Bird Area with a large number of endemic scrub species. Generally located on high value coastal zone real estate and threatened by land development, the ecoregion represents the struggle between ecological preservation and human development.
The California coastal sage and chaparral encompasses coastal terraces, plains, and foothills along the Pacific coast of northwestern Mexico and southern California, USA. The Santa Rosa Mountains... More »
Gulf of California xeric scrubLast Updated on 2013-12-04 16:26:07
The Gulf of California xeric scrub ecoregion is situated along the eastern coastal zone and Gulf of California versanta region of land sloping in one general direction of the Baja Peninsula in Mexico, and is delineated by the spine of the La Giganta Sierra Mountains. This ecoregion, located entirely within the nation of Mexico, is classified within the Deserts and Xeric Scrublands biome. Species richness of plants is high in the ecoregion, but modest for fauna; however, endemism is high in this arid habitat, which receives some of the lowest precipitation in all of Mexico.
There are a total of 341 vertebrate species present in the ecoregion. Twenty genera of plants, nine species of the herpetofauna, twelve species of mammal, and two species of avifauna are endemic to this region. Reptilian endemism is particularly notable, with some lizard taxa of highly restricted occurrence... More »
Chilean matorralLast Updated on 2013-11-19 15:26:47The 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 »
Kangaroo IslandLast Updated on 2013-03-05 00:00:00
Kangaroo Island is a large island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of southern Australia. The island is under the national authority of Australia and within the state of South Australia. Ecologically it is within the Mount Lofty woodlands ecoregion, which has a mainland component as well. Flinders Chase National Park, on the extreme west coast of the island, comprises a significant part of Kangaroo Island. There are at least 36 endemic taxa present on Kangaroo Island. Approximately one third of the natural habitat on the island can be considered [intact].
Kangaroo Island exhibits a mediterranean climate, influenced by southwesterly humid winds arriving over the Indian Ocean. Underlying strata date to the Late Cambrian period, and bear important fossil content. The biodiversity is enhanced since the island is situated at the boundary of the western arid region and the... More »
Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park, Andalucia, SpainLast Updated on 2012-06-09 02:10:10Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park lies along the Alboran Sea of the Mediterranean coast of Andalucia, Spain. The most arid area in the entirety of Europe, it boasts varied landforms and high endemism. Cabo de Gata-Nijar is inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. More »
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