Meaning of endemic species
What is an endemic species:
An endemic species are living beings, which include both flora and fauna, whose distribution is restricted to a certain geographical area, be it a province, region, country or continent.
Endemic species arise due to the appearance of natural barriers that prevent a certain species from spreading by limiting its genetic exchange to a certain territory.
Endemic species or also called microareal or endemism species suffer to a greater extent than other species in the face of changes in the natural conditions of their habitat by not having a broad genetic response, reducing the number of individuals in each population, being therefore more vulnerable to extinction.
Endemic species are classified by their territorial distribution capacity in:
- Microendemics: distribution restricted to a very specific area,
- Quasi-endemic: they exceed the biogeographic limits of the area and,
- Semi-endemic: species that spend only one time of the year in a region.
Endemic species are in turn subdivided by specific endemic characteristics into the following types of endemism:
- Paleoendemism: they are distinguished by their morphology, chemistry and genetics.
- Schizoendemism: they are species that appear thanks to a gradual isolation to a territory, differentiating themselves as different populations from the original ones with the same amount of chromosomes and morphology.
- Patroendemism: they are species that colonize large areas, increasing the distribution area of their predecessors.
- Apoendemism: species whose taxa are derived from each other creating new populations in smaller areas.
- Cryptoendemism: they are those that have endemic potential but have not yet been described.
Endemic species help create a greater variety and abundance of living things, contributing to the biodiversity necessary to maintain a balance in ecosystems. Due to the vulnerability of endemic species to the irresponsible action of man, many microareal species are in danger of extinction or are extinct.
See also Vulnerability.
Some of the endemic animals in danger of extinction around the world are:
- The Quetzal bird endemic from Chiapas, Mexico to Costa Rica.
- The endemic polar bear of the North Pole.
- The Siberian tiger is endemic to Siberia, part of China and Mongolia.
- The endemic manatee of Cuba and the Antilles.