Major Habitat Types

142 terrestrial, 53 freshwater, and 43 marine ecoregions

Some habitats, such as tropical forest and coral reefs, support extremely rich assemblages of species, while others, such as tundras and deserts, are more austere. But all are unique expressions of life.
We must, at a minimum, aim to hold on to key examples of every part of the web of life. The Global Ecoregions identify the finest examples of every major habitat type, from the Arctic to the Amazon, from deserts to reefs to mangroves, at every elevation and on every continent. The results include many conservation icons, such as the Galapagos Islands, the Amazon Basin, and the Serengeti.

But the Global Ecoregions also include many others which, while equally valuable from a conservation standpoint, are less widely recognised. Some examples include the species-rich deserts of western Mexico, the extraordinarily diverse coral reefs of the Sulu Sea, and the forests of New Caledonia.

Not all the ecoregions included in the Global Ecoregions face the same level of threat. Some still contain large areas of intact habitat and present important opportunities for conservation. Others, having already lost much of their original habitat, require urgent action and efforts to restore them.

The aim of the Global Ecoregions analysis is to ensure that the full range of ecosystems is represented within regional conservation and development strategies, so that conservation efforts around the world contribute to a global biodiversity strategy.

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