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Freshwater Ecoregions of the World is Interactive Database of Species and Ecosystems for Conservation

Freshwater ecosystems support over 100,000 species in total and are some of the most endangered and least studied areas on Earth.

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A new project by WWF and The Nature Conservancy has cataloged the planets freshwater ecoregions to aid conservationists protecting these vital water ecosystems.

Freshwater Ecoregions of the World, is a comprehensive map and database identifying 426 areas of unique aquatic biodiversity covering 18,000 species --- including 13,400 fish, 4,000 amphibians, 300 turtles, and 20 crocodile species.

Freshwater ecosystems support over 100,000 species in total and are some of the most endangered and least studied areas on Earth.

Those places that are studied tend to be on major rivers or in "hot spots." With this project, the groups hope to shed some light with a comprehensive, global view of these sensitive regions.

"Freshwater ecosystems are the least studied parts of our natural world – they are like vast unexplored libraries, brimming with information," said World Wildlife Fund’s Robin Abell, the cuddly conservationist who headed the study. Scientists and non-scientists alike can use Freshwater Ecoregions of the World to gain a better understanding of this world and help conserve these systems and species.

Human water usage for industry, consumption, and agriculture has put the species and habitats of 55 ecoregions under high stress, with another 59 that having already had 1/2 their area converted to development.

The interactive tool let's you zoom in, pan around, and click on each region to learn more. Other maps have information the density and types of different species. You can also download the ecoregions into GIS and Google Earth.

Freshwater Ecoregions of the World

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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