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17 Megadiverse Countries in the World

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The megadiverse countries are a group of nations that contains more than 70% of the earth’s bio-diversity, identified in 1998 by Conservation International (CI), to promote the awareness for biodiversity conservation among the world nations. According to CI., there are 17 of those nations, which are mostly located in the tropical or subtropical region. In the following list, we present you the 17 Megadiverse Countries in the World.

17. Madagascar

Madagascar

Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world. Previously known as Malagasy Republic, Madagascar is a home to numerous flora and fauna, and over 90 percent of those species are exclusive to the island and found nowhere else on Earth. There are over 14 thousand plant species, of which most of them are not visible anywhere around the globe. Lemurs has been characterized as “Madagascar’s flagship mammal species”, as there are 103 species of lemurs inhabit the islands. Its diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife are threatened by the rapidly growing human population and by their daily interactions with the environment.

16. India

India

India is one of the 17 mega diverse countries, which contains three biodiversity hotspots. It has around 8% of all mammals, 13% of birds, 8% of reptiles, 6% of amphibians and 6% of all plant species population. Most of them are found in tropical rain forest, Western Ghats and forests of the Himalaya. India hosts more than five hundred wildlife sanctuaries and thirteen biosphere reserves.

15. Peru

PeruImage credit: wikimedia

Peru is located in western South America and share its border with Ecuador, Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil and Chile. The presence of the Andes mountains, which runs parallel to the Pacific Ocean from north to south, has divided the country into three different geographical units. First, the coast, covering a narrow plain adjacent to the Pacific. Second, the Sierra or highland region consisting mainly the Andes, and third covers a plain terrain engulfed with Amazon rainforest in the east. The occurrence of El Nino after every four years or so, just intensify the surrounding climate. Due to the very nature of the rainforest and the Andes, Peru  has a high biodiversity of more than 21000 species of plants and birds, out of which almost 6000 are endemic.

14. Ecuador

ecuador

According to the Conservation International, Ecuador is the biggest nation in terms of the most biodiversity per square kilometer than any other nation. The Galapagos Island, famous as the birthplace of Darwin’s theory of evolution, has a vast number of endemic species. In total, it has 1600 bird species, 16000 species of plants and 6000 species of butterfly. Ecuador also recognized as the first to enforce a constitution to recognize the rights of nature.

13. Venezuela

VenezuelaImage credit: wikimedia

Officially known as the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, or just Venezuela is considered as a state with extremely high biodiversity. The forest ranges, from the Andes Mountain in the west to the Amazon rainforest in the south, covers the whole nation. It hosts a total of more than 1400 bird species out of which 48 are endemic. According to the report, 3900 species of fungi are recorded from Venezuela and over 25000 species of Orchids were found here. Around 38% of all 21000 plant species are unique to the country. Moreover, after the discovery of huge oil deposits in early 20th century, the country is also declared world largest oil reserves.

12. Mexico

mexico

Mexico is home of 12% of the world’s biodiversity with 200,000 different species. The Tropic of Cancer divides the country into two different climatic zones, land north of 23.5 degree experience temperate climatic conditions, while, tropical condition prevails over southern Mexico. It ranks first in biodiversity in reptiles with 707 species, second in mammals with 438 species, fourth in amphibian with 290 species and fourth in flowers with 26000 species. There are 34 biosphere reserves, 67 national parks and 17 sanctuaries. However, in 2002 Mexico ranked second in the list of countries with the fastest rate of deforestation, after Brazil.

11. China

ChinaImage credit: wikimedia

China is one of the megadiverse country lying between two major ecozones; the Palearctic and Indomalaya. It has over 34000 species of plants and animals, making it the third most biodiverse country in the world. China is home to 551 species of mammals, 1221 species of birds and 424 species of reptiles. China has 146,000 types of flora and over 10,000 species of fungi. The country signed the Rio Convention on 11 July 1992 and became a party to the convention the following year.

10. Indonesia

IndonesiaImage credit: wikimedia

Indonesia is basically an island in Southeast Asia or a group of islands, as many as fourteen thousand of them. It is one of the megadiverse country which is ranked second in terms of total endemic species. After Brazil, it’s Indonesia that contains the highest level of biodiversity in the form of 1531 species of birds, 515 species of mammals etc. But due to Indonesia’s recent population growth 15 of those species are identified as critically endangered, including Bali Starling, Javan Rhinoceros and Sumatran Orangutan.

9. Australia

AustraliaImage credit: wikimedia

Despite of semi-arid and desert climate in most of Australia, it includes a diverse range of flora and fauna from alpine to tropical rainforest. Because of the continent’s isolated location, most of its species are unique. Australia has the greatest number of reptiles of any country, with 755 species. Among the flora, many evergreen species, especially eucalyptus are dominant. In the animal kingdom, Kangaroo, Koala and wombat are Australian specialty.

8. The Democratic Republic of Congo

Democratic Republic of the CongoImage credit: whc.unesco.org

The Democratic Republic of Congo is a country in central Africa. Don’t confuse it with neighbouring country, the Republic of Congo, it is rather bigger in size. Earlier known as Zaire, the rainforest of DRC, contains a large bit of bio-diversity, including chimpanzee and the bonobo, African forest elephant white rhino and many more.

7. Malaysia

MalaysiaImage credit: wikimedia

Malaysia is a federal constitutional monarchical country located in Southeast Asia. It is one of 17 megadiverse countries on earth, with large numbers of endemic species.

Malaysia signed the Rio Convention on Biological Diversity on 12 June 1993, and became a party on 24 June 1994. It contains around 20 per cent of the world’s animal species. High levels of flora and fauna are discovered in the diverse forests of Borneo’s mountains. There are about 210 mammal species in the country. A high number of endemic bird species are also found in Malaysian Borneo. Around 250 reptile species, 150 species of snakes, and 80 species of lizards have been recorded in the country. Morever, there are about 150 species of frogs, and thousands of insect species. The unique biodiversity of Malaysia attracts millions of tourists from all over the world.

6. Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is pronounced as ‘Papua Niugini’. Geologically, the island of New Guinea is a northern extension of the Indo-Australian tectonic plate. It is connected to the Australian segment by a shallow continental shelf across the Torres Strait, which is why many species of birds and mammals found on New Guinea have close genetic links with species found in Australia. One most notable feature in common for the two landmasses is the existence of several species, including kangaroos and possums, which are not found anywhere else.

5. Philippines

Philippines

The Philippine rainforest is the home to a diverse range of birds, plants, animals, and sea creatures. It is one of the ten most biologically megadiverse countries. Around 1,100 land vertebrate species can be found in the Philippines, including over 100 mammal species and 170 bird species, which you can’t find anywhere else on Earth. Philippines has the highest rate of discovery in the world – sixteen new species of mammals discovered in the last ten years.

4. South Africa

south africa

The Republic of South Africa is the southernmost country in Africa. In South Africa, bushveld, a sub-tropical woodland region is one of the most fertile areas in the whole Africa. Numerous mammals are found in this region, including Transvaal lions, African leopards, South African cheetahs, southern white rhinos, blue wildebeest, kudus, impalas, hyena, hippopotami and South African giraffes. There are more than 20,000 different plants, which is about 10% of all known species of plants on Earth. There are significant numbers of baobab trees in this area, near the northern end of Kruger National Park.

3. United States

USA

The U.S. is also one of the megadiverse country. The United States alone is home to 428 mammal species, 784 bird species, 311 reptile species, and 295 amphibian species. Till date, there are 91,000 insect species which are registered. The bald eagle is both national bird and national animal of the United States. There are total of 58 national parks and hundreds of other federal parks and forests.

Read: 12 Best Tourist Places to Visit in the USA

2. Colombia

Colombia

Colombia has around 45,000 plant species and 20% of the total global species. It also has 1900 species of birds, 2000 species of fish and around 7000 species of beetles. It ranked second in the number of amphibian species and the third most diverse country in reptiles. There are approximately 300,000 species of invertebrates in the country.

1. Brazil

Brazil

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Brazil is the largest country in Latin America and South America and the fifth largest country in the world. Due to this vastness, there are different types of ecosystems, which prevail all over the country. These are, namely, Amazon rainforest, Atlantic rainforest and Savanna, commonly known as Cerrado. Amazon is considered to be the world’s largest rainforest with biggest biological diversity. Some scientists estimate that the total number of plants and animal species in Brazil could reach more than four million. Brazil is home to many mammals, including pumas, jaguars, and bush dogs. The red-bellied piranha are a unique resident of the Brazil’s Amazon basin, which includes many other extremely diverse fish species.

6 comments

  1. Oops! Missed one:
    Brazil’s Amazon basin (“basin” should be capitalized)

  2. Wow I did not know Philippines is both a hot spot for land mega diversity and marine mega diversity (since its the center of marine biodiversity as well). Philippines needs to be protected for Earth’s sake. Roman Catholic should be expelled in that country; together with too much capitalism !

  3. errah.caunca@yahoo.com

    There was a documentary program in the philippines said that it is more biodiverse than any country in the whole north america combined. Why the United States is ranking higher than the philippines?

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