New Caledonia : summary of species on the 2008 IUCN Red List

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New Caledonia :  summary of species on the 2008 IUCN Red List

The Pacific islands of Oceania cover almost 15% of the world’s surface and are characterised by a high degree of ecosystem and species diversity. The region is characterised by thousands of isolated small coral atolls and higher volcanic islands, which has led to the high diversity of species found today. In fact, the number of plants and animals found nowhere else on earth (endemic species) is extremely high - often up to 90% for particular groups. Often, these rare and endemic species are adapted to specialised habitats and limited to small areas of a few islands. With economic and cultural dependence on the natural environment very high in the Pacific islands, along with a rapidly expanding human population, there are ever increasing demands on the region’s natural resources. Plant and animal species are therefore vulnerable to extinction from climate change, competition from introduced (invasive) species and human impacts such as habitat destruction, over-harvesting of species and pollution.

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