This paper deals essentially with ecosystems, biomes, and habitats, of the Pacific realm, that are in need of restoration and conservation programmes for saving endangered vertebrates through the establishment of ‘ecological reserves’. Besides zoogeographic factors, the matter of conservation urgency is reflected in the criteria by taking into account the rate of vertebrate extinction in historic time and the number of vertebrate species and subspecies that are endangered or threatened with extinction in each area.
In this paper and its successor (Part 2), twenty-two zoogeographic subregions have been defined in the Pacific realm, to which have been added three others—namely the Australian, North American, and South American coasts of the Pacific Ocean. Table I shows the division of these zoogeographic subregions within each faunal region. The Oceanian or ‘Central’ region is here introduced as a particular faunal region comprising Hawaii, Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia. This complex of islands cannot, in the Author's opinion, be conveniently grouped with any of the continental faunal regions, although it has clear affinities with near-by continents to the west.
p1 Senior Adviser, United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi, Kenya; present address Special Adviser, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Box 16121, S–103 23 Stockholm 16, Sweden.
* Based on an invited paper given at a symposium on ‘Pacific Ecosystems: A Geographic Analysis’ of the 13th Pacific Science Congress, held at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, 18–29 August 1975.