Biodiversity means the diversity of life forms. It is a word commonly used to refer to the variety of life forms found in a particular region. Diverse life forms share the environment, and are affected by each other too. As a result, a stable community of different species comes into existence. Humans have played their own part in recent times in changing the balance of such communities. Of course, the diversity in such communities is affected by particular characteristics of land, water, climate and so on. Rough estimates state that there are about ten million species on the planet, although we actually know only one or two millions of them. The warm and humid tropical regions of the earth, between the tropic of Cancer and the tropic of Capricorn, are rich in diversity of plant and animal life. This is called the region of megadiversity.

Of the biodiversity on the planet, more than half is concentrated in a few countries — Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Zaire, Madagascar, Australia, China, India, Indonesia and Malaysia.

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