As we are finding out more and more about Mexico’s rich biodiversity and birding, we stumbled across a new word in conservation that had Mexico’s name at the very top of their list.

Megadiversity n. A large number and wide range of species; exceptional biological diversity.
—megadiverse adj.

Mexico takes up only 1% of the Earth’s land area, but holds one-tenth of all species known to science. –U.S. Fish and Wildlife

There are seventeen countries that belong to this special category, containing more than 70% of the Earth’s biodiversity.

Here are the seventeen megadiversity countries:

  1. Australia
  2. Brazil
  3. China
  4. Colombia
  5. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  6. Ecuador
  7. India
  8. Indonesia
  9. Madagascar
  10. Malaysia
  11. Mexico
  12. Papua New Guinea
  13. Peru
  14. Philippines
  15. South Africa
  16. United States
  17. Venezuela

Some of these countries are in more trouble than others:
Brazil has the highest number of threatened bird species in the neotropics, the Phillipines only has 11% of its land protected, and there are terrible problems with pollution in China.

Wildlife Without Borders is a top player in helping countries manage key natural resources with their regional programs.

With the world’s most valuable species and ecosystems disappearing rapidly, regional efforts like those sponsored by the Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wildlife Without Borders Regional Programs are needed more than ever: Wildlife–and people–across the globe could benefit from more initiatives like these. –Diane Jukofsky –Board Member and a Founder of the Rainforest Alliance

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We started blogging on December 1st, 2006.