WHS which were or are "Refugia" and are inscribed, at least in part, for that attribute.
""Refugium - an area of relatively unaltered climate that is inhabited by plants and animals during a period of continental climatic change (such as a glaciation) and remains as a center of relict forms from which a new dispersion and speciation may take place after climatic readjustment" (Merriam-Webster)

Provide a link which specifically relates the WHS to an example of this phenomenon and identifies the cause and result.

Connected Sites

Site Rationale Link
Alejandro de Humboldt National Park "It is assumed that the area was a Pleistocene Refuge where numerous species have survived past periods of climate change." (Brief description UNESCO)
Andrefana Dry Forests "The centres of endemism on the western slopes were refugia that captured parts of the hydrological system, allowing animal and plant populations to survive in isolation during dry periods." (Crit IX)
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park "believed to be a Pleistocene refugium, the property is a biodiversity hotspot with possibly the greatest number of tree species for its altitude in East Africa. It is also host to a rich fauna including a number of endemic butterflies and one of the richest mammalian assemblages in Africa". (UNESCO)
Central Suriname Nature Reserve "The CSNR conserves a large portion of the easternmost portion of the Guyana Shield, an ancient, mineral-dense layer of the earth’s crust, formerly connected to the continent of Africa. As a geologically stable speciation centre, this region has produced a well-defined assemblage of biota including many endemics. The area of the reserve falls within one of 26 Amazonia refugia as defined in Prance and Lovejoy (1985)." (IUCN)
Cerrado Protected Areas ”Both parks help protect the Cerrado biome, one of the oldest and most diverse ecosystems in the world. For millennia, these sites have served as refuge for many rare and endemic species of fauna and flora, including during periods of climatic fluctuations.” (OUV)
Colchic Rainforests and Wetlands "relict forests, which have survived the glacial cycles of the ice age. The extremely humid nemoral broad-leaved rainforests comprise a highly diverse flora and fauna, with very high densities of endemic and relict species. This is the result of millions of years of uninterrupted evolution and speciation processes within the Colchic Pliocene refugium." (UNESCO)
Ennedi Massif "With the return of the drier conditions, these fluvial connections dried out and only a small population (of Crocodales) was able to survive in the Ennedi refugium, thanks to the presence of permanent water in the Guelta Archei." (IUCN)
Gondwana Rainforests "Outstanding examples of other relict vertebrate and invertebrate fauna from ancient lineages linked to the break-up of Gondwana also occur in the property....The flora and fauna of the Gondwana Rainforests provides outstanding examples of ongoing evolution including plant and animal taxa which show evidence of relatively recent evolution. The rainforests have been described as ‘an archipelago of refugia, a series of distinctive habitats that characterise a temporary endpoint in climatic and geomorphological evolution" (UNESCO)
Hyrcanian Forests "The nominated property contains Arcto-Tertiary relicts from broad-leaved forests that 25-50 million years ago covered most parts of the Northern Temperate Zone. These huge forest areas retreated during Quaternary glaciations and later during milder climate, expanded and spread out from this refugia. It is considered as an origin for European broad-leaved forests and, due to this isolation, hosts many relict, endangered, regional and local endemic flora species" (IUCN)
Lorentz National Park "Criterion (x): The mountain building processes that have occurred over time have provided temperate refuges in the tropics for ancient Gondwanan plant species during the climatic warming that has occurred since the last ice age. For example, Lorentz National Park’s Nothofagus beech forests are well represented, although their closest relatives are otherwise confined to the cool temperate regions of south-eastern Australia, New Zealand and the southern Andes." (OUV)
Okapi Wildlife Reserve "As a Pleistocene refugium, the forest contains dense evergreen and semi-evergreen forests, dominated by Mbau trees (Gilbertiodendron dewevrei). The Nepoko, Ituri, and Epulu rivers flow through the reserve, surrounded by swamp forests. The granite outcrops in the north of the reserve protect critical habitat for Encephalartos ituriensis, a threatened species of cycad. Because of its relatively stable climate during the repeated ice ages, the wildlife reserve, and the Ituri Forest as a whole, protects a unique biological community." (Wiki)
Rio Abiseo National Park "The property is believed to belong to the Huallaga Pleistocene refugium according to the Pleistocene refuge hypothesis, a prevailing explanation for biodiversity patterns and endemism. Isolated refuges, such as the area today constituting the property, are thought to have enabled not only the survival but also the birth of new species during glacial periods. Still very incomplete records show impressive endemism in plants, invertebrates, amphibians, evidence for ongoing speciation processes." (UNESCO)
Te Wahipounamu "The region preserves ancient Gondwanan taxa, having in places remained ice-free and become refugia for such species such as the 14 podocarps and flightless birds. Both the flora and fauna of Fiordland are dominated by indigenous species; 700 higher plants are found only there, including 24 alpine species" (UNEP-WCMC)
Three parallel rivers of Yunnan "The ice-free status of most of NW Yunnan during the Pleistocene glaciations, allowing a variety of plants and animals to remain relatively undisturbed in refugia." (IUCN)
Tropical Rainforest Sumatra "All three nominated sites would undoubtedly have been important climatic refugia for species over evolutionary time and have now become critically important refugia for future evolutionary processes" (IUCN eval)


Do you know of another WHS we could connect to Refugium?

Send it to me!

A connection should:

  1. Not be "self evident"
  2. Link at least 3 different sites
  3. Not duplicate or merely subdivide the "Category" assignment already identified on this site.
  4. Add some knowledge or insight (whether significant or trivial!) about WHS for the users of this site
  5. Be explained, with reference to a source