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Diceros bicornis | Black rhinoceros
Mount Kenya National Park / Natural Forest | Kenya

December 23, 2015. Life / Earth’s Legacy

Something we must remember: biodiversity and threatened species

Natural heritage are precisely outlined areas which constitute the habitat of threatened species of animals and plants of Outstanding Universal Value from the point of view of science or conservation.

Bastian Bertzky, Guy Debonnet, Cyril F. Kormos, Russell A. Mittermeier, Peter Shadie and Jim Thorsell

World Heritage criterion (x) applies specifically to natural sites of outstanding importance for biodiversity, in particular species of conservation concern and the natural habitats
that are critical for their survival.

Species of conservation concern include, for example, globally threatened species, endemic species, evolutionary distinct species, and so-called keystone species.

Threatened Species
Species are considered “threatened” when they are facing a higher risk of extinction as a result of human or natural threats. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is a global inventor of such species.

Endemic species
Are geographically restricted to a particular area on the planet, such as an island or a mountain.

Evolutionary Distinct Species
They have few close relatives and are often extremely distinct in the way they look, live, and behave, as seen in the platypus in Australia or the kakapo in New Zealand. 

Keystone species
Such as wolves, jaguars, elephants, and beavers, these play a critical role in the functioning of whole ecosystems.

Natural habitats are the places, or types of places, where a species or population naturally occurs. For example, a specific kind of wetland. Finally, in-situ conservation means the conservation of natural habitats and viable populations of species in their natural surroundings, as opposed to ex-situ conservation in botanical or zoological gardens.

This is an excerpt from the CEMEX Nature Series Book Earth’s Legacy: Natural World Heritage  (2015).

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Earth’s Legacy

Natural World Heritage

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