4) Indo-Burma Forests
Extending from eastern India to the Malay Peninsula and including Laos (in the photo), Thailand and Cambodia, this region is another biodiversity hotspot. It is home to 1,300 bird species and new animal species are still being discovered in its 2 million kilometers. It is home to gibbons, Kitti’s hog-nosed bat (one of the smallest mammals in the world — it’s the size of a bumblebee) and freshwater turtles. 95 percent of the forests’ original rain forests have been lost as land is cleared for teak plantations and other development. Aquatic ecosytems are also endangered as freshwater swamps and wetlands have been destroyed for rice cultivation.
5) California Floristic Province Forests
Located in Oregon, California and Baja California in Mexico, the California Floristic Province has a Mediterranean-like climate that is home to the giant sequoia (the largest living organism on the planet) and the coastal redwoods. It is also the largest breeding ground for birds in the U.S. and home to threatened species including the giant kangaroo rat and the desert slender salamander. Pollution, road construction and the expansion of urban centers have resulted in only 24.7 percent of the original vegetation still being in its original, pristine condition.
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