Where the rarest animals live

This video is about the Bornean clouded leopard.

From The Times in England:

June 9, 2007

The 200 sites that are home to the world’s rarest beasts

Lewis Smith, Environment Reporter

Conservationists have identified the world’s most exclusive wildlife habitats to try to increase the chances of saving rare and endangered species from extinction.

The 200 sites contain high proportions of creatures seen nowhere else in the world and were named as the places where new species are most likely to evolve.

The researchers who drew up the list based it on the number, diversity and rarity of animals living in any one wildlife habitat.

Animals living in the top 200 habitats include the newly identified Bornean clouded leopard, orangutans, wallabies and lemurs.

“These habitats have high levels of the most unique wildlife – the Mona Lisas of the animal world,” said John Fa, who led the research for the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in Jersey.

“These top biodiversity eco-regions exist where flora and fauna have evolved in isolation.

“Using a completely novel way of analysing biodiversity statistics we have been able to identify those areas on the planet with the highest proportion of unique wildlife found nowhere else in the world.”

The most exclusive habitat was named as the temperate forests of the Juan Fernández islands, off the west coast of Chile, which contain four unique species of vertebrates.

Island habitats, where animals can evolve in isolation, dominate the top 50 locations and include the Galápagos islands, which helped to guide Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, and the British dependent territories of Tristan da Cunha, St Helena and South Georgia.

Highland habitats, which provide challenging and often isolated environments for creatures that live in them, were the second most exclusive type, followed by continental lowlands.

Researchers found that rain-forests in Sri Lanka were the most important of the highland areas, boasting such rare animals as the Kelaart’s long-clawed shrew and the lionhead agama, a type of lizard.

Next in importance came the Central Andean wet puna in South America, where the marbled four-eyed frog and the puna mouse live, then the Albertine rift forests in Central Africa, which are home to 1,155 animal species, including the gorilla and chimpanzee.

BirdLife on biodiversity and livelihoods: here.

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