Protecting South Africa’s ‘Megadiversity’

(Photo credit: Jupiterimages/Getty Images)

South Africa is home to a staggering list of plant and animal species. (Photo credit: Jupiterimages/Getty Images)

South Africa is one of 17 countries described as being “megadiverse” by Conservation International, a nonprofit environmental organization. The country is home to megafauna such as wildebeest, elephants, great white sharks, zebras, lions, and leopards. The country contains 10 percent of the world’s plant species and 15 percent of the world’s marine species. South Africa also has a rich population of endemic species–that is, species that only exist within its borders. Fifty-six percent of its amphibians, 65 percent of its plants, and 70 percent of its invertebrates are found only within South Africa and nowhere else.

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