SREL Reprint #1865

 

 

 

 

BIODIVERSITY AND ZOOGEOGRAPHY OF NON-MARINE TURTLES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

JEFFREY E. LOVICH
U.S. Department of the Interior
National Biological Survey
Palm Springs-South Coast Resource Area
63-500 Garnet Avenue
P.O. Box 2000
North Palm Springs, California 92258-200

INTRODUCTION

Analysis of patterns of global and regional biodiversity is an important part of modern conservation programs. Identification of centers of high diversity or endemism provides information for reserve design and location, and targets high priority areas for focused conservation efforts. Additionally, analysis of species richness and distribution provides an important zoogeographic perspective for elucidating the evolutionary history of species groups of interest as well as the geological histories of the land-masses they occupy (Cox et al., 1976).

Several world regions have recently been identified as having exceptional endemism or biodiversity. Using plants as indicators, Myers (1988) identified 10 areas that occupy only 0.2% of the earth's land surface yet contain 34,000 endemic plant species, or about 27% of all tropical plant species. When non-endemics are added to the figure, approximately 35-40% of all plant species are found in these "threatened hotspots." Mittermcier et al. (1992) noted that at least 19% of the world's amphibians and reptiles are also found in the "hotspots" identified by Myers.

SREL Reprint #1865

Lovich, J.E. 1994. Biodiversity and zoogeography of non-marine turtles in southeast Asia. In Biological Diversity: Problems and Challenges, edited by S.K. Majumdar, F.J. Brenner, J.E. Lovich, J.F. Schalles, and E.W. Miller. p. 380-391. The Pennsylvania Academy of Science.

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