Monday, June 6, 2011

The beauty of biodiversity: Jamaica

(Jamaican boa and iguana from greenantilles.com)

Throughout the years, Jamaica has positively distinguished itself in a number of ways — including its rich biological diversity.
The island is rich in plants, animals, micro-organisms, their derivatives and their ecosystems. Jamaica is, in fact, ranked fifth in the world in terms of its endemic plants and biodiversity.
This biological diversity," according to information out of the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), "is influenced by physical factors, such as topography, geology, terrain, and climate."

There is, too, a high level of endemism (being natural to or characteristic of a particular area) for many animal species.
(Jamaican hutia. Photo copyright NEPA.)


Species diversity, according to NEPA, takes into account all species present within various terrestrial, freshwater and marine habitats and includes, among other things, birds, reptiles, mammals, fish, insects, crustaceans (such as shrimp, lobsters and krill), plants, and micro-organism.
Jamaica's terrestrial flora (land-based plants):
* 579 species of ferns, 67 or 12 per cent of which are endemic;
* 230 species of orchids, 60 or 26 per cent of which are endemic;
* 20 species of cacti, 10 or 50 per cent of which are endemic;
* 10 species of palms, seven or 70 per cent of which are endemic;
* 60 species of bromeliads, 22 or 37 per cent of which are endemic; and
* 200 species of grass, one or 0.5 per cent of which are endemic.
Jamaica's terrestrial fauna (land-based animals)
* 514 land snails, 505 or 98 per cent of which are endemic;
* 211 species of rotifers (also called wheel animals), 21 or 10 per cent of which are endemic;
* 133 species of butterflies, 20 or 15 per cent of which are endemic;
* 67 species of land birds, 30 or 45 per cent of which are endemic;
* 59 species of ants, six or 10 per cent of which are endemic;
* 43 species of reptiles, 33 or 77 per cent of which are endemic;
* 39 species of shore and sea birds, one or 2.6 per cent of which is endemic;
* 26 species of jumping spiders, 20 or 77 per cent of which are endemic;
* 21 species of bats, four or 20 per cent of which are endemic; and
* 48 species of fireflies, 45 or 93.8 per cent of which are endemic.

Taken from the Jamaica Observer. SOURCE: National Environment and Planning Agency.

1 comment:

Elettra said...

splendid examples !!!!!!!!!!