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Centres of biodiversity
- Biodiversity in Africa

Biodiversity information is patchy for many organisms. Centres of biodiversity are located in the following ecoregions: Mt Cameroon and Bioko montane forests, overlapping with the Cross-Sanaga-Bioko coastal forests; the Cameroon highlands’ forests; the Eastern Arc forests and the northern Zanzibar-Inhambane coastal forest mosaic; the Guinea montane forests and the western Guinea forests; the Drakensberg montane grasslands and forests; the Albertine Rift montane forests and the upper Guinea lowland rain forests.

Nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of SSA species of plant and vertebrates can be represented (though not necessarily adequately protected) in approximately 1 percent of its land area, as shown in Figure 3. This 1 percent area includes key taxon-specific centres of diversity (such as the Cape for plants) and a few multitaxon centres of biodiversity such as, for example, Mt Cameroon, East Usambaras, Mt Nimba, Western Ruwenzori, Mt Elgon and parts of the upper Guinea lowland forests. Many of the represented species are endemic to these areas. To include all vertebrate and plant species occurring in SSA in protected areas, about a third of its total area would need to be included into conservation strategies. Hence, identifying locations of high biodiversity in several major groups, so that a high proportion of biodiversity can be protected in a comparatively small area, is an important research goal.

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