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Chart: Over 200 Species of Plants Are Threatened in These Countries

Tariq Khokhar's picture
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Biodiversity is essential for well-functioning ecosystems. In each of these 20 countries, over 200 species of plants are threatened, according to data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature available in World Development Indicators.

What's also interesting is that: There are almost as many threatened species of plants as fish, birds and mammals combined


Finally, you can have a look at the numbers of threatened species of plants, birds, fish and mammals in the table below. Equador (with the Galapagos Islands) is a huge outlier so makes the bar scale a little awkward below - if you right click on Equador and "exclude" it you'll be able to see the bars on more useful scale.
 

Comments

Submitted by Sean Foley BSC PhD FRGS on

I live and work in Laos, a biodiversity 'hotspot' and a country where the terrestial wildlife has been decimated almost to the point of extiniction, most recently by poachers hunting 'bushmeat' for the new elites dinner tables in the Mekong region.

This listing of threatened (endangered) species could be made more useful if two or three additional metrics could be added to the table: i) threatend species in each class (plants, birds, etc.) as a proportion of the total number of species in each class; and ii)the total number of species in each class divided by country area, and iii) the total number of threatened species in each class divided by country area.

This would allow people to more easily grasp the scale of the threat in each country. For example, but crudely, for Laos (area 237,000 km2) has 0.561 threatened species per 1,000 km2, for Indonesia(area 735,400 km2)the metric is 1.214, whereas for Australia (my home country - area 2.97 million km2)the metric is 0.104.

Just a suggestion ...

Submitted by Sean Foley BSC PhD FRGS on

Correction: Areas for Indonesia and Australia in my recent submission were incorrect - they were in mi.sq. not km.sq for Indonesia and Australia. WE switched to the metric system in 1963 ... a few countries have not made the change yet.

When corrected Indonesia's area is 1.919 million km.sq. and Australia's area is 7.692 million km.sq. The corrected threatened species metrics are: Indonesia 0.465 and Australia 0.040. Apologies.

Metrics like this make it easier to see where the most acute threats to biodiversity are - the humid tropics. Which is of course no reason to feel relaxed about species/ biodiversity loss in temperate countries like Australia, which lost yet another 49 species in the last year ...

Thanks for both your comments Sean - agree that some proportional metrics would also be useful and I'll pass this feedback onto the team that looks after the data series. 

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