The megadiverse countries are a group of countries that harbor the majority of Earth's species and high numbers of endemic species. Conservation International identified 17 megadiverse countries in 1998. Many of them are located in, or partially in, tropical or subtropical regions.
Mega diversity means exhibiting great diversity. The main criteria for megadiverse countries is endemism at the level of species, genera and families. A megadiverse country must have: 1. At least, 5,000 species of endemic plants, and 2. marine ecosystems on its borders.
In 2002, Mexico formed a separate organization focusing on Like-Minded Megadiverse Countries, consisting of countries rich in biological diversity and associated traditional knowledge. This organization does not include all the megadiverse countries as identified by Conservation International.
In alphabetical order, the 17 megadiverse countries are:
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- [http://www.conservation.org/documentaries/Pages/megadiversity.aspx Megadiversity: The 17 Biodiversity Superstars Archived 2008-12-08 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Megadiverse Countries definition- Biodiversity A-Z".
- "Biodiversity Theme Report". Retrieved April 14, 2014.(dead link)