Species diversity

Isopogon linearis and Weevil, Lesueur National Park , Western Australia. / ©: Helena Mills / WWF-Aus
Isopogon linearis and Weevil, Lesueur National Park , Western Australia.
© Helena Mills / WWF-Aus
Species diversity refers to the variety of species within a region. The factors that determine species diversity are complex and not well understood.

Species diversity is not evenly distributed around the world or across continents. Thirty-four biodiversity hotspots have been identified globally. These hotspots collectively comprise just 2.3% of the Earth’s land surface yet hold especially high numbers of species that occur nowhere else – half the world’s plant species and 42% of all terrestrial vertebrate species. They are also home to 75% of the planet’s most threatened mammals, birds and amphibians.
The Southwest Australia Ecoregion is one such global biodiversity hotspot.