Report

Geographic Distribution of Endangered Species in the United States

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Science  24 Jan 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5299, pp. 550-553
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5299.550

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Abstract

Geographic distribution data for endangered species in the United States were used to locate “hot spots” of threatened biodiversity. The hot spots for different species groups rarely overlap, except where anthropogenic activities reduce natural habitat in centers of endemism. Conserving endangered plant species maximizes the incidental protection of all other species groups. The presence of endangered birds and herptiles, however, provides a more sensitive indication of overall endangered biodiversity within any region. The amount of land that needs to be managed to protect currently endangered and threatened species in the United States is a relatively small proportion of the land mass.

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