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Endemism

Species unique to a natural location or habitat / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Endemism is the state of a species only being found in a single defined geographic location, such as an island, state, nation, country or other defined zone; organisms that are indigenous to a place are not endemic to it if they are also found elsewhere.[1] For example, the Cape sugarbird is found exclusively in southwestern South Africa and is therefore said to be endemic to that particular part of the world.[2] An endemic species can also be referred to as an endemism or, in scientific literature, as an endemite.[citation needed]

Orange-breasted_Sunbird_%28Nectarinia_violacea%29.jpg
Both the orange-breasted sunbird (Anthobaphes violacea) and the Kniphofia uvaria plant it feeds on are found exclusively in South Africa.
Bicolored_Frog_%28_Clinotarsus_curtipes_%29.jpg
Bicolored frog (Clinotarsus curtipes) is endemic to the Western Ghats of India.
Montezuma_well_-_panoramio.jpg
Montezuma Well in the Verde Valley of Arizona contains at least five endemic species found exclusively in the sinkhole.

The extreme opposite of an endemic species is one with a cosmopolitan distribution, having a global or widespread range.[1]

A rare alternative term for a species that is endemic is "precinctive", which applies to species (and other taxonomic levels) that are restricted to a defined geographical area.[3] Other terms that sometimes are used interchangeably, but less often, include autochthonal, autochthonic, and indigenous, however, these terms do not reflect the status of a species that specifically belongs only to a determined place.

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