A recent study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) reveals that America’s National Parks and protected areas fail to cover many areas with high levels of biodiversity. The new analysis maps the geographic distribution of more than 1,200 endemic U.S. species. The authors emphasize that the Southeast is a high priority and should be better protected.
Species richness maps for US endemics. Compare with map of protected lands, below.
U.S. Protected Lands, with their IUCN classifications. Compare with endemism maps, above.
Read a review of the paper and see some interactive graphics showing the protected areas versus the diversity of various classes of organisms: “These Maps Reveal How the U.S. Is Failing to Protect Its Wildlife” (Peter Aldhous, Buzzfeed, April 6, 2015)