When we talk about endemism, we refer to a
species whose geographical range is limited.
Endemic animals and plants, whose
vulnerability is enormous due to smaller
populations, are key to their ecosystems and
become a thermometer when it comes to
measuring the state of health of a territory.
For that reason, their protection from
extinction threats is critical.
Endemic species are important for a number of reasons. First, since endemic species have a
generally restricted distribution, threats to endemics carry more risk of extinction than for broadly
Second, according to the book Climate Change and Biodiverity, edited by Thomas E. Lovejoy
and Lee Hannah, when an endemic plant species becomes extinct, it takes with it between 10
and 30 endemic animal species.
Third, endemics, by definition, are highly adapted to their home range. As conditions within their
range change, whether
from anthropogenic or natural causes,
their adaptations can function as a
source of competitive strength or weakness.
In other words, some endemics of distinct
regions may function as a sort of “collective
insurance” for continued genetic diversity in
the face of rapid changes, while others are at
greatest risk of extinction as conditions change.
Keeping endemic species around is importan
t. Many of them are endangered due to habit
at loss and other human actions. They’re imp
ortant to save not just because they’re uniqu
e to a
particular area, but because they are importa
nt to maintaining biodiversity, too.
Climate change and humans mean that some
species only have needs in a certain place,
leading to their endemism.