WWF’s Global 200 project analyzed global patterns of biodiversity to identify a set of the Earth's terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecoregions that harbor exceptional biodiversity and are representative of its ecosystems.
We placed each of the Earth's ecoregions within a system of 30 biomes and biogeographic realms to facilitate a representation analysis. Biodiversity features were compared among ecoregions to assess their irreplaceability or distinctiveness. These features included species richness, endemic species, unusual higher taxa, unusual ecological or evolutionary phenomena, and the global rarity of habitats.
This process yielded 238 ecoregions--the Global 200--comprised of 142 terrestrial, 53 freshwater, and 43 marine priority ecoregions.
Effective conservation in these ecoregions would help conserve the most outstanding and representative habitats for biodiversity on this planet.
Citation: Olson, D. M., Dinerstein, E. 2002. The Global 200: Priority ecoregions for global conservation. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 89(2):199-224.
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