Conservation International lists at least 13 major biodiversity hotspots around the globe. These include four hotspots in North and Central America, five in South America, four in Europe and Central Asia, eight in Africa, and 13 in East Asia and the Pacific Islands (including Australia). Most of hotspots tend to be in tropical rainforest or heathland habitat, or in areas places that have been biologically isolated from surrounding areas for millions of years – such as mountain ranges and islands. The 13 hotspots listed by Conservation International are some of the most important areas in the world for conservation efforts; however it should be kept in mind that there may be other, smaller hotspots not included in this list of the top 13. Also, this list focuses almost exclusively on land-based habitats: adding marine ecosystems to the mix would open up a whole nether realm of species-rich habitats, but so far marine hotspots seem to be less easily defined than their terrestrial counterparts.
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