Endemic species:

An endemic species is a species that occurs in only one geographic location, such as a forest, state, country, or island.

Watch this video about several endemic animals to learn more!

Examples of endemic species featured in the video:

  • Blue-billed curassow, found only in Colombia
  • Caquetá titi monkey, found only in Colombia
  • Patagonia frog, found only in Southern Argentina
  • Rhinoceros iguana, found only in the Dominican Republic

Key points!

  • Endemic species occur in only one location. For example, the Patagonia frog is endemic to southern Argentina. It is found in southern Argentina and lives nowhere else on Earth.
  • A megadiverse country has a high number of endemic species.
  • Endemic species are very important to the ecosystems in which they live.
  • Endemic species are like environmental thermometers – they indicate the health of the environment in which they occur.
  • Endemic species are extremely vulnerable because they are only found in restricted, and sometimes small, areas.

Research activity:

Find out if there are any endemic species of plant, animal, or fungus where you live. You can look online, visit a local nature center, or do research at your local library.

What did you find out?! Did you find one, two, or maybe more species that are endemic to your area? Draw a picture of one species and/or write a story about it. Or maybe create a colorful poster to share with classmates, family, and friends!