Hotspots are the areas that are biologically rich and exhibit high species diversity most of which are endemic in nature.
Endemic species are those that are restricted to a specific area. Hotspots are characterised by richness in floral and faunal wealth.
Though the area covered by the hotspots represent only two per cent of the world’s land area, it preserves about 50% of the total terrestrial biodiversity.
This term was introduced by Myers in 1988, who has presently recognized twenty-five such hotspots of biodiversity on a global level. These hotspots include 49955 endemic species which account for about 20% of world’s total plant species, Mittermeir and Werner (1990) on the basis of species richness put forth the concept of mega diversity centres. The recognized 12 countries/regions are mega diversity centres. These are Mexico, Columbia, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Zaire, Madagascar China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia.
List of Global Hotspots of Biodiversity:
1. Tropical Andes
3. Brazil’s Atlantic forest region
4. The Philippines
5. Meso-American forests
6. South Africa’s Cape Floristic region
7. Wallacea (Western Indonesia)
8. Western Sunda (Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei)
9. Brazil’s Cerrado
10. Polynesia and Micronesian island complex
11. The Darien and Choco of Panama, Colombia, Western Ecuador
12. The Eastern Mediterranean region
13. The Western Ghats of India and the Island of Sri Lanka
14. Indo-Burma Eastern Himalayas
15. The Guinean forest of West Africa
16. New Caledonia
17. South-eastern Australia and Tasmania
19. Central Chile
20. California Floristic Province
21 . Eastern Arc and Coastal forest of Tanzania / Kenya
22. Succulent Karoo
24. South Central China
25. New Zealand.