Birding Site Guide

Here is a good place to start this search mongabay 

Here are some quotes from various scientific papers, links are provided so the whole paper can be read if desired. 

The Atlantic Forest biome is considered one of the biggest repositories of biodiversity on the planet. The forest harbors around 2,200 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians – 5% of the vertebrates on Earth. This includes nearly 200 bird species found nowhere else, and 26 of Brazil’s 77 primate species (including 21 endemic species). The Atlantic Forest is also home to around 20,000 species of plants, representing 8% of the Earth’s plants. Land Institute Also Ser 


Synthesis and Analysis of Local Vegetation Inventories Across Scales 

Atlantic forest 20,000 species in all, 40% endemic. Conservation International Hotspots 

The Tropical Andes has 40,000 plant species alone, though this is a huge area. Conservation International Hotspots 

Many hotspots around the world have huge numbers of species as would be expected, as illustrated in the above statements and at some time they all seem to have claimed a world record number of species diversity for a given area. But what are the facts? In this article I make no categorical claims, however I present some bald facts and figures, of course without taking into account the full species list of invertebrates for each contender we will not know for sure. 


Lets look at bird diversity first, birds are the most studied class of vertebrates on earth and even though many species have yet to be discovered and taxonomy is having a DNA overall, we can be pretty certain where the areas with the highest diversity for birds are. There are really only 2 contenders, both on the slopes of the Andes in Southern Peru and northern Bolivia in the Subtropical Yungas and Subtropical Amazonia. To date 988 species of bird have already been recorded in Madidi National Park, Bolivia Virtual Andean Tourist Routes . This is more than the long time number one site Manu National Park in Peru with 925 (2005) as the highest number of species on earth. 


In the Ucayali, Amazon and Yavari rivers in 1994. Since then, he has confirmed the presence of 86 mammal species, excluding bats. Although some African regions have slightly longer lists, the findings add to a growing body of evidence suggesting that the three-river region has a higher total number of mammal species, because bat diversity is much higher in neotropical rainforests than in African rainforests. University of Florida News 

Hwange (Zimbabwe, on border with Botswana) has some of the highest mammal diversity for any national park in the world. With over 100 species Wilderness Safaris 

Liberia’s Sapo National Park in the Guinean Forest region has the highest mammal diversity of any hotspot and is home to more than a quarter of Africa’s mammals, including more than 20 species of primates. CI Liberia’s Sapo National Park 


Mexico has the highest reptile diversity on earth and the second highest mammal diversity.Amerikaventure 

Aaron pointed out that South Africa has the highest reptile diversity on the continent. South Africa, is host to 5 species of sea turtle, 9 species of freshwater terrapin and 14 species of land tortoise. Further, 148 snake species and at least 281 lizard species are recognised. More than 83 new reptiles have been described since 1988 tha newsletter 


An idea of amphibian diversity, by country at least is given here Global amphibians 


It's estimated that over 2500 species of fish occur in the Amazon. Game fish of the Amazon 


Thirty species of cetacean, 6 species sea turtle, 15 species of seagrass, about 125 species of shark, 5,000 species of mollusc, 49 species of pipefish and 9 species of seahorse, 7 species of frog, 215 species of birds, 2,195 known plant species, 17 species of sea snake. More than 1,500 species of fish live on the reef, 330 species of ascidians and between 300-500 species of bryozoans. 400 species of corals, both hard corals and soft corals and 500 species of marine algae or seaweed. Wikipedia Great Barrier Reef 

There are over 1000 species of invertebrates and around 400 recorded coral types to be found. Moreover, the Red Sea boasts over a 1000 species of fish. Tour Egypt 


Manu had 650 trees per hectare. Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 

476 species were found in one-hectare sample plots in the highland of Espírito Santo (This is the one stated by The Guinness World Records). 454 species were counted in a single hectare in southern Bahia, Global Restoration Network 

have found as many as 476 tree species in a single hectare of Madidi Worldwatch 

Aracruz, (Atlantic forest) Brazil 450 species of trees per hectare. Aracruz 

The Chocó Ecoregional Complex is located on the Pacific coast at the ... 400 species of trees WWF

While the Rio Chapare (Brazil near Peruvian border) forests had from 310 to 366 trees per hectare. Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 

Amazon, Ecuador 300 species of trees per hectare Select Latin America 

National Allpahuayo-Mishana Reserve, which holds the greatest number of species of trees per hectare (close to 300). Destination Peru 

220 different species of trees may be identified in one single hectare of Manu forest. Machete etours 

Yasuní National Park has roughly 200 more species of trees per hectare New York University education 

Acre state 300 species of trees per hectare Expo-cosmos 

Tiputini Biodiversity Station, Amazon, Ecuador 290 species of trees per hectare Ceiba 

Malayasian lowland rainforest 240 species of trees per hectare Bird Malaysia 

Indonesia 200species of trees per hectare Springerlink 

Papua New Guinea has been one of only two or ... a tree diversity of perhaps 200 per hectareScience mag 

In summary here are some more holistic comments which are probably correct. 

TOGETHER, the southeastern corner of Peru and an adjoining remote area of northern Bolivia (Tambopata (Peru)-Madidi (Bolivia)) comprise what is possibly the most biodiverse region on the planet. It is known to contain more than 850 bird species, 103 amphibians, 1200 butterflies, more than 150 (650 actually!) tree species per hectare and about 4700 vascular plant species. However, the region has been under pressure in recent years; a number of (unsustainable) activities such as mining, illegal logging and unplanned road construction, among others, has led to environmental degradation and forest loss. Iranian Tourism & Travel Online 

Author: BSG