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Global 200

The Global 200 is the list of ecoregions identified by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as priorities for conservation.

The Global 200 is based on the WWF's comprehensive system of ecoregions. The WWF defines an ecoregion as a "relatively large unit of land or water containing a characteristic set of natural communities that share a large majority of their species, dynamics, and environmental conditions" (Dinerstein et al. 1995, TNC 1997). The WWF has identified 867 terrestrial ecoregions, which cover the earth's land surface, as well as freshwater and marine ecoregions. The goal of this classification system is to ensure that the full range of ecosystems will be represented in regional conservation and development strategies. Of these ecoregions, the WWF selected the Global 200 as the ecoregions most crucial to the conservation of global biodiversity. The Global 200 are actually 233 ecoregions, which include 136 terrestrial, 36 freshwater, and 61 marine ecoregions.

Conservationists interested in preserving biodiversity have generally focused on the preservation of tropical moist broadleaf forests (commonly know as tropical rainforests) because they harbor an estimated 50 percent of Earth's species. The WWF determined that a more comprehensive strategy for conserving global biodiversity should also consider the other 50 percent of species, as well as the ecosystems that support them. Several habitats, such as Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and shrub, were determined to be more threatened than the tropical rain forests, and also require concerted conservation action. WWF maintains that "although conservation action typically takes place at the country level, patterns of biodiversity and ecological processes (e.g., migration) do not conform to political boundaries", which is why ecoregion-based conservation strategies are deemed essential.

Historically zoologists and botanists have developed various classification systems that take into account the world's plant and animal communities. Two of the worldwide classification systems most commonly used today were summarized by Miklos Udvardy in 1975. The biogeographical realms divide the Earth's land surface into eight realms (formerly called kingdoms, and which the WWF calls ecozones) that represent the major terrestrial communities of animals and plants, and are a synthesis of previous systems of floristic provinces and faunal regions. The biome system classifies the world into ecosystem types (i.e. forests, grasslands, etc) based on climate and vegetation. Each biogeographical realm contains multiple biomes, and biomes occur across several biogeographical realms. A system of biogeographical provinces was developed to identify specific geographic areas in each biogeographical realm that were of a consistent biome type, and shared distinct plant and animal communities. The WWF system represents a further refinement of the system of biomes (which the WWF calls major habitat types), biogeographical realms (WWF's ecozones), and biogeographical provinces (The WWF scheme divides most biogeographical provinces into multiple smaller ecoregions).

The WWF assigns a conservation status to each ecoregion in the Global 200: critical or endangered; vulnerable; and relatively stable or intact. Over half of the ecoregions in the Global 200 are rated endangered.

Based on a comprehensive list of ecoregions, The Global 200 includes all major habitat types (biomes), all ecosystems types, and species from every major habitat type. It focuses on each major habitat type of every continent (such as tropical forest or coral reefs). It uses ecoregions as the unit of scale for comparison. WWF say ecoregions could be considered as conservation units at regional scale because they meet similar biological communities.

Some ecoregions were selected over other ecoregions of the same major habitat type (biome) or ecozone. Selection of the Global 200 relied on extensive studies of 19 terrestrial, freshwater, and marine major habitat types. Selection of the ecoregions was based on analyses of species richness, species endemism, unique higher taxa, unusual ecological or evolutionary phenomena, and global rarity of major habitat type.

Global 200 ecoregion list is most helpful to conservation efforts at a regional scale: local deforestation, destruction of swamp habitats, degradation of soils, etc. However, certain phenomena, such as bird or whale migration, depend on more complex parameters not used to define the current database, such as atmospheric currents, dynamic pelagic ecosystems, etc. These would require gathering more information, and coordination of efforts between multiple ecoregions. However, the Global 200 ecoregions can help these efforts by identifying habitat sites and resting sites for migratory animals. It may also help identify the origin of invasive species, and offer insights for slowing down or stopping their intrusion.


List of the Global 200 ecoregions

Terrestrial ecoregions

Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests
1 Guinean moist forests
2 Congolian coastal forests
3 Cameroon Highlands forests
4 Northeastern Congolian lowland forests
5 Central Congolian lowland forests
6 Western Congolian moist forests
7 Albertine Rift montane forests
8 East African Coastal Forests
9 Eastern African montane forests
10 Madagascar lowlands and subhumid forests
11 Seychelles and Mascarene Islands moist forests

12 Sulawesi moist forests
13 Moluccas moist forests
14 Southern New Guinea lowland forests
15 New Guinea montane forests
16 Solomons-Vanuatu-Bismarck moist forests
17 Queensland tropical rain forests
18 New Caledonia moist forests
19 Lord Howe-Norfolk Islands forests

20 South Western Ghats montane rain forests and moist deciduous forests
21 Sri Lanka moist forests
22 Northern Indochina Subtropical moist forests
23 Southeast China-Hainan moist forests
24 Taiwan montane forests
25 Annamite Range moist forests
26 Sumatran Islands lowland and montane forests
27 Philippines moist forests
28 Palawan moist forests
29 Kayah-Karen/Tenasserim moist forests
30 Peninsular Malaysian lowland and montane forests
31 Borneo lowland and montane forests
32 Nansei Shoto Archipelago forests
33 Eastern Deccan Plateau moist forests
34 Naga-Manupuri-Chin hills moist forests
35 Cardamom Mountains moist forests
36 Western Java montane forests

37 Greater Antillean moist forests
38 Talamancan-Isthmian Pacific forests
39 Choco-Darien moist forests
40 Northern Andean montane forests
41 Coastal Venezuela montane forests
42 Guianan moist forests
43 Napo moist forests
44 Rio Negro-Jurua moist forests
45 Guayana Highlands moist forests
46 Central Andean yungas
47 Southwestern Amazonian moist forests
48 Atlantic forests

49 South Pacific Islands forests
50 Hawaii moist forests

Tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests

51 Madagascar dry forests

52 Nusa Tenggara dry forests
53 New Caledonia dry forests

54 Indochina dry forests
55 Chhota-Nagpur dry forests

56 Mexican dry forests
57 Tumbesian-Andean valleys dry forests
58 Chiquitano dry forests
59 Atlantic dry forests

60 Hawaii dry forests

Tropical and subtropical coniferous forests

61 Sierra Madre Oriental and Occidental pine-oak forests

62 Greater Antillean pine forests
63 Mesoamerican pine-oak forests

Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests

64 Eastern Australia temperate forests
65 Tasmanian temperate rain forests
66 New Zealand temperate forests

67 Eastern Himalayan broadleaf and conifer forests
68 Western Himalayan temperate forests

69 Appalachian and mixed mesophytic forests

70 Southwest China temperate forests
71 Russian Far East temperate forests

Temperate coniferous forests

72 Pacific temperate rain forests
73 Klamath-Siskiyou forests
74 Sierra Nevada forests
75 Southeastern coniferous and broadleaf forests

76 Valdivian temperate rain forests-Juan Fernandez Islands

77 European-Mediterranean montane mixed forests
78 Caucasus-Anatolian-Hycanian temperate forests
79 Altai-Sayan montane forests
80 Hengduan Shan coniferous forests

Boreal forests/taiga

81 Muskwa-Slave Lake boreal forests
82 Canadian taiga

83 Ural Mountains taiga
84 East Siberian taiga
; 85 Kamchatka taiga and grasslands

Tropical and subtropical grasslands, savannas, and shrublands

86 Horn of Africa acacia savannas
87 East African acacia savannas
88 Central and Eastern miombo woodlands
89 Sudanian savannas

90 Northern Australia and Trans-Fly savannas

91 Terai-Duar savannas and grasslands

92 Llanos savannas
93 Cerrado woodlands and savannas

Temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands

94 Northern prairie

95 Patagonian steppe

96 Daurian steppe

Flooded grasslands and savannas

97 Sudd-Sahelian flooded grasslands and savannas
98 Zambezian flooded savannas

99 Rann of Kutch flooded grasslands

100 Everglades flooded grasslands
101 Pantanal flooded savannas

Montane grasslands and shrublands

102 Ethiopian Highlands
103 Southern Rift montane woodlands
104 East African moorlands
105 Drakenberg montane shrublands and woodlands

106 Central Range subalpine grasslands

107 Kinabalu montane shrublands

108 Northern Andean paramo
109 Central Andean dry puna

110 Tibetan Plateau steppe
111 Middle Asian montane steppe and woodlands
112 Eastern Himalayn alpine meadows


113 Alaskan North Slope coastal tundra
114 Canadian low arctic tundra

115 Fenno-Scandia alpine tundra and taiga
116 Taimyr and Russian coastal tundra
117 Chukote coastal tundra

Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and shrub

118 Fynbos

119 Southwestern Australia forests and scrub
120 Southern Australia mallee and woodlands

121 California chaparral and woodlands

122 Chilean Matorral

123 Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and shrub

Deserts and xeric shrublands

124 Namib-Karoo-kaokoveld deserts
125 Madagascar spiny thicket
126 Socotra Island desert
127 Arabian Highland woodlands and shrublands

128 Carnavon xeric scrub
129 Great Sandy-Tanami deserts

130 Sonoran-Baja deserts
131 Chihuahuan-Tehuacan deserts

132 Galapagos Islands scrub
133 Atacama-Sechura deserts

134 Central Asian deserts


135 Gulf of Guinea mangroves
136 East African mangroves
137 Madagascar mangroves

138 New Guinea mangroves

139 Sundarbans mangroves
140 Greater Sundas mangroves

141 Guianan-Amazon mangroves
142 Panama Bight mangroves

Freshwater ecoregions

Large rivers
143 Congo River and flooded forests (Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo)

144 Mekong River (Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam)

145 Colorado River (Mexico, United States)
146 Lower Mississippi River (United States)

147 Amazon River and flooded forests (Brazil, Colombia, Peru)
148 Orinoco River and flooded forests (Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela)

149 Yangtze River and lakes (China)

Large river headwaters
150 Congo basin piedmont rivers and streams (Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Republic of Congo, Sudan)

151 Mississippi piedmont rivers and streams (United States)

152 Upper Amazon rivers and streams (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana (France), Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela)
153 Upper Paraná rivers and streams (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay)
154 Brazilian Shield Amazonian rivers and streams (Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay)

Large river deltas
155 Niger River delta (Nigeria)

156 Indus River delta (India, Pakistan)

157 Volga River delta (Kazakhstan, Russia)
158 Mesopotamian delta and marshes (Iran, Iraq, Kuwait)
159 Danube River delta (Bulgaria, Moldova, Romania, Ukraine, Yugoslavia)
160 Lena River delta (Russia)

Small rivers
161 Upper Guinea rivers and streams (Côte D’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone)
162 Madagascar freshwater (Madagascar)
163 Gulf of Guinea rivers and streams (Angola, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria, Republic of Congo)
164 Cape rivers and streams (South Africa)

165 New Guinea rivers and streams (Indonesia, Papua New Guinea)
166 New Caledonia rivers and streams (New Caledonia)
167 Kimberley rivers and streams (Australia)
168 Southwest Australia rivers and streams (Australia)
169 Eastern Australia rivers and streams (Australia)

170 Xi Jiang rivers and streams (China, Vietnam)
171 Western Ghats Rivers and Streams (India)
172 Southwestern Sri Lanka rivers and streams (Sri Lanka)
173 Salween River (China, Myanmar, Thailand)
174 Sundaland rivers and swamps (Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore)

175 Southeastern rivers and streams (United States)
176 Pacific Northwest coastal rivers and streams (United States)
177 Gulf of Alaska coastal rivers and streams (Canada, United States)

178 Guianan freshwater (Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, Venezuela)
179 Greater Antillean freshwater (Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico)

180 Balkan rivers and streams (Albania, Bosnia and Herzogovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia, Turkey, Yugoslavia)
181 Russian Far East rivers and wetlands (China, Mongolia, Russia)

Large lakes
182 Rift Valley lakes (Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia)

183 High Andean lakes (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Peru)

184 Lake Baikal (Russia)
185 Lake Biwa (Japan)

Small lakes
186 Cameroon crater lakes (Cameroon)

187 Lakes Kutubu and Sentani (Indonesia, Papua New Guinea)
188 Central Sulawesi lakes (Indonesia)

189 Philippines freshwater (Philippines)
190 Inle Lake (Myanmar)
191 Yunnan lakes and streams (China)

192 Mexican highland lakes (Mexico)

Xeric basins
193 Central Australian freshwater (Australia)

194 Chihuahuan freshwater (Mexico, United States)

195 Anatolian freshwater (Syria, Turkey)

Marine ecoregions

Antarctic Ocean
196 Antarctic Peninsula & Weddell Sea

Arctic Ocean
197 Bering Sea (Canada, Russia, United States)
198 Barents-Kara Sea (Norway, Russia)

Temperate shelfs and seas
199 Mediterranean Sea (Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Monaco, Morocco, Serbia & Montenegro, Slovenia, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey)

North Temperate Atlantic
200 Northeast Atlantic Shelf Marine (Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, United Kingdom)
201 Grand Banks (Canada, St. Pierre and Miquelon (France), United States)
202 Chesapeake Bay (United States)

North Temperate Indo-Pacific
203 Yellow Sea (China, North Korea, South Korea)
204 Sea of Okhotsk (Japan, Russia)

Southern Ocean
205 Patagonian Southwest Atlantic (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay)
206 Southern Australian Marine (Australia)
207 New Zealand Marine (New Zealand)

Temperate upwelling
North Temperate Indo-Pacific
208 California Current (Canada, Mexico, United States)

South Temperate Atlantic
209 Benguela Current (Namibia, South Africa)

South Temperate Indo-Pacific
210 Humboldt Current (Chile, Ecuador, Peru)
211 Agulhas Current (Mozambique, South Africa)

Tropical upwelling
Central Indo-Pacific
212 Western Australian Marine (Australia)

Eastern Indo-Pacific
213 Panama Bight (Colombia, Ecuador, Panama)
214 Gulf of California (Mexico)
215 Galápagos Marine (Ecuador)

Eastern Tropical Atlantic
216 Canary Current (Canary Islands, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritania, Morocco, Senegal, Western Sahara)

Tropical coral
Central Indo-Pacific
217 Nansei Shoto (Japan)
218 Sulu-Sulawesi Seas (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines)
219 Bismarck-Solomon Seas (Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands)
220 Banda-Flores Sea (Indonesia)
221 New Caledonia Barrier Reef (New Caledonia)
222 Great Barrier Reef (Australia)
223 Lord Howe-Norfolk Islands Marine (Australia)
224 Palau Marine (Palau)
225 Andaman Sea (Andaman and Nicobar Islands (India), Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand)

Eastern Indo-Pacific
226 Tahitian Marine (Cook Islands, French Polynesia)
227 Hawaiian Marine (Hawaii)
228 Rapa Nui (Easter Island)
229 Fiji Barrier Reef (Fiji)

Western Indo-Pacific
230 Maldives, Chagos, and Lakshadweep atolls (Chagos Archipelago (United Kingdom), India, Maldives, Sri Lanka)
231 Red Sea (Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen)
232 Arabian Sea (Djibouti, Iran, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen)
233 East African Marine (Kenya, Mozambique, Somalia, Tanzania)
234 West Madagascar Marine (Comoros, Madagascar, Mayotte and Iles Glorieuses (France), Seychelles)

Western Tropical Atlantic
235Mesoamerican Reef (Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico)
236 Greater Antillean Marine (Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States)
237 Southern Caribbean Sea (Aruba, Columbia, Netherlands Antilles, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela)
238 Northeast Brazil Shelf Marine (Brazil)

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Last updated: 05-21-2005 14:51:09