endemic species



We explain what an endemic species is and some examples. Also, invasive, native and endangered species.

It is possible to speak of endemic species of a country or a determined continent.

What is an endemic species?

When speaking of an endemic species, reference is made to those species from animals, plants or others organisms that are characteristic of a certain geographic region and cannot be found naturally anywhere in the world outside of it. This applies both for specific places, as well as for certain types of weather or from relief, thus being able to speak of endemic species of a country or a continent certain, but also of a tropical climate or a mountainous relief, for example.

This type of relationship between the species and its exclusive environment is known as endemism, and it can also apply to higher or lower taxa such as genders, families or subspecies. It should not, however, be confused with the native species.

Endemism is fundamental in the composition of the biodiversity of the planet, since it allows the variety of species and the proliferation of life, and it is also key to the process of speciation, that is, of evolution and origin of the different species, as a consequence of their geographical separation and adaptation to specific places and conditions.

Examples of endemic species

The giant sequoia is capable of living between 2,000 and 3,000 years.

Some examples of known endemic species are:

  • The dragon tree (Dracaenadraco). A tall tree with rough bark endemic to the Canary Islands (particularly Tenerife) and considered a threatened species. There is a subspecies of this tree endemic to Morocco.
  • The Iberian lynx (Lynxpardinus). Kind of mammal Endemic carnivore of the Iberian Peninsula, and the most threatened feline species in the world.
  • The blue finch of Gran Canaria (Fringilapolatzeki). A bird of the finches family, endemic to the island of Gran Canaria, off the coast of Africa.
  • The giant sequoia (Sequoiasempervirens). Also called red sequoia, it is a species of gigantic trees, capable of living a really long life (between 2,000 and 3,000 years). It is endemic to the Californian Sierra Nevada, in the United States.

Endangered species

Polar bears are in danger of extinction.

Extinction is called death of a whole species, that is, to the disappearance of all the individuals that compose it. Therefore, the endangered species are those that are found in risk to disappear in the near future, and which are often protected by environmental organizations and international treaties.

Extinction has occurred en masse in ourplanet, in what is known as mass extinctions, evidenced in the geological fossil record. They can occur for various reasons: drastic changes in the ecosystem (climatic, chemical, geological, cataclysms, etc.), emergence (natural or artificial) of a new more successful species or human activity (pollution, hunting or indiscriminate logging, etc.).

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