Ecology Connections

All connections part of Ecology.

Albatross breeding sites WHS which include the breeding site of a species of Albatross.

IUCN recognises 22 species of Albatross (Alternative definitions range between 14 and 24) of 4 Genera (Great, N Pacific, Sooty and Mollymawk). 20 are listed in Wiki as breeding within a WHS using its definition of "species" - )
Anchialine Habitats Bodies of haline water usually with a restricted exposure to the open air, always with more or less extensive subterranean connections to the sea and showing noticeable marine as well as terrestrial influences". Anchialine habitats include landlocked open pools, similar pools in the interior of caves and entirely submerged cave passages 4
Ancient lakes "An ancient lake is a lake that has consistently carried water for more than one million years. Many have existed for more than 2.6 million years, the full Quaternary period. Ancient lakes continue to persist due to plate tectonics in an active rift zone. This active rift zone creates lakes that are extremely deep and difficult to naturally fill with sediment. Due to the prolonged life of ancient lakes, they serve as models for isolated evolutionary traits and speciation." (Wiki).

See Speciation in Ancient Lakes.
Antarctic Floristic Kingdom The Antarctic Floristic Kingdom, also the Holantarctic Kingdom, is a floristic kingdom. It includes most areas of the world south of 40°S latitude. (wiki) 11
Anteaters Anteater is a common name for the four mammal species of the suborder Vermilingua (meaning "worm tongue") commonly known for eating ants and termites. The Giant Anteater is classified as a Vulnerable species. 22
Aurochs WHS connected with "Aurochs": "An extinct species of large wild cattle that inhabited Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It is the ancestor of domestic cattle and has been suggested to be a genetic component of the modern European bison, crossbred with steppe bison. The species survived in Europe until the last recorded aurochs died in the Jaktorow Forest, Poland, in 1627" Wiki - 12
Bears WHS where bears can be found in the wild. 63
Beech Forests 13
Big Five WHS where the "Big Five" can be seen together: lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo. 7
Big Waterfalls Waterfalls that are significantly Tall or handle a High Volume of water. Limited to those that belong to the Top 20 of either category on or 14
Biological Corridor Natural or Mixed WHS located in a Biological Corridor.

A Biological Corridor (a.k.a. Wildlife Corridor or Habitat Corridor)"is an area of habitat connecting wildlife populations separated by human activities or structures (such as roads, development, or logging). This allows an exchange of individuals between populations, which may help prevent the negative effects of inbreeding and reduced genetic diversity (via genetic drift) that often occur within isolated populations. Corridors may also help facilitate the re-establishment of populations that have been reduced or eliminated due to random events (such as fires or disease)." (wiki - Wildlife corridor)

Generally, three types of corridor are distinguished: Regional, Sub-regional and Local. The Connection is limited to WHS located in Region or Sub-regional corridors. The Corridor must extend beyond the boundaries of the WHS.
Bird Migrations WHS that are key stopover sites for birds on one of the major flyways. 51
Blue Holes "A blue hole is a cave (inland) or underwater sinkhole. They are also called vertical caves .....Blue holes are roughly circular, steep-walled depressions, and so named for the dramatic contrast between the dark blue, deep waters of their depths and the lighter blue of the shallows around them." (Wiki - see ) 3
Boreal Forest or Taiga A Boreal Forest is a biome characterised by coniferous forests. Alternatively called "Taiga". 16
Bovines WHS where Bovines can be found in the wild. It is restricted to members of the Tribe Bovini ("wild cattle") as per wiki. 24
Cacao WHS that are related to the cultivation and trade of cacao, or the occurence of Theobroma Cacao in the wild. Excluding botanical gardens. 3
Cambrian Explosion The Cambrian explosion was the relatively rapid appearance, around 542 million years ago, of most major animal phyla, as demonstrated in the fossil record (wiki) 5
Captive Breeding Centre WHS which include a Captive Breeding Centre.
N.b. centres located outside the WHS at zoos etc are excluded even if they provide animals for reintroduction within the WHS.
Carnivorous plants WHS where carnivorous plants can be found in the wild. 11
Chimpanzee habitat WHS were chimpanzees live in the wild. 13
Cloud forest A cloud forest, also called a fog forest, is a generally tropical or subtropical evergreen montane moist forest characterized by a persistent, frequent or seasonal low-level cloud cover, usually at the canopy level. (wiki) 18
Columnar Jointing A system of fractures that splits a rock body into long prisms, or columns. It is characteristic of lava flows and shallow intrusive igneous flows. 6
Coral Corals are marine organisms, some of which secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton. 37
Critically endangered fauna species WHS that include wild fauna species that are on the current (2010) IUCN Red List in their highest category: "Critically Endangered". Critically Endangered means that a species' numbers have decreased, or will decrease, by 80% within three generations. Some of them could be possibly extinct.

Species must be named in description, plus some details about remaining numbers.
Crocodiles WHS inhabited by animals of the order Crocodilia, which include (true) Crocodiles as well as Caimans and Alligators. 41
Dinosaur Remains Sites where Dinosaur remains (bones, footprints or eggs) have been found.

Dinosaurs were a group of reptiles which existed c250 to c65 million years ago during the Mesozoic era (Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods). During this period they themselves evolved and the remains of over 900 species have been discovered on every current continent. These divide into 2 groups ; Saurischian (Lizard like) and Ornithischian (Bird like). The group was given the name "Dinosauria" ( = "Terrible Lizard") by Richard Owen in 1842.
Dripstone 22
Dunes Sites that include distinctive stretches of sand dunes. 33
Elephants WHS were elephants, Asian or African, live in the wild. 37
Endemic Bird Species Endemic Bird Species refers to any species of bird found only in a specific geographical area.

The connection is restricted to WHS within which at least 1 bird species "endemic" to the area within which the site is situated is found. The rule for determining "Endemism" is that described by Birdlife International using the definition that an endemic bird species is one whose historic breeding range is less than 50000 sq kms.
Endorheic Lakes Endorheic lakes are bodies of water that do not flow into the sea. Endorheic lakes are usually in the interior of a body mass, far from an ocean. Their watersheds are often confined by natural geologic land formations such as a mountain range, cutting off water egress to the ocean. (wiki) 9
Eucalypts Eucalypts are woody plants belonging to three closely related genera: Eucalyptus, Corymbia and Angophora. The over 700 species are mostly native to Australia. 11
Extreme temperatures WHS with extremely high or low temperatures, or extreme variations in temperature. 5
Feral Animals Remarkable cases of feral animals (domesticated animals which became wild again) living within the boundaries of WHS. 8
Fog drip WHS containing life which depends on Fog Drip - 4
Fossils WHS where fossils are part of the OUV. 21
Gorilla habitat WHS where Gorillas live in the wild. Gorillas are ground-dwelling, predominantly herbivorous apes that inhabit the forests of central Africa.

The eponymous genus Gorilla is divided into two species: the eastern gorillas and the western gorillas, and either four or five subspecies:
- Western lowland gorilla (subspecies of western gorilla)
- Cross River gorilla (subspecies of western gorilla)
- Mountain gorilla (subspecies of eastern gorilla)
- Eastern lowland gorilla (subspecies of eastern gorilla)
- Bwindi gorilla (sometimes considered as a subspecies of the eastern gorilla)

Source: Wikipedia
Granite rock formations Granite rock formations are spectacular forms of natural beauty, unaltered by man. 10
Gray Wolf WHS where the Gray Wolf exists in the wild. 24
High-Biodiversity Wilderness Area A High-Biodiversity Wilderness Area (HBWA) is an elaboration on the IUCN Protected Area classification of a Wilderness Area (Category Ib), which outlines five vast wilderness areas of particularly dense and important levels of biodiversity. The sub-classification was the initiative of Conservation International (CI) in 2003 to identify regions in which at least 70 percent of their original vegetation has remained intact in order to ensure that this is safeguarded and these regions do not become biodiversity hotspots. (wiki) 25
Hoodoo A column or pillar of bizarre shape caused by differential erosion on rocks of different hardness. 15
Horn Peaks A horn peak (or pyramidal peak / glacial horn), is an angular, sharply pointed mountain peak which results from the cirque erosion due to multiple glaciers diverging from a central point. 3
Ice cave WHS that contain one or more Ice caves.

An ice cave is a natural cave that contains significant amounts of perennial (year-round) ice.
Icebergs 8
Inselbergs An inselberg is an isolated hill, knob, ridge, outcrop, or small mountain that rises abruptly from a gently sloping or virtually level surrounding plain. Also known as "monadnock" in the US, or "kopje" in southern Africa. 23
Jaguar habitat WHS where Jaguars live in the wild. The jaguar is the largest cat species in the Americas. Jaguar populations are rapidly declining. The species is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List. 25
Lagoons WHS which include lagoons. 32
Lava lakes Lava lakes are large volumes of molten lava, usually basaltic, contained in a volcanic vent, crater, or broad depression. The term is used to describe both lava lakes that are wholly or partly molten and those that are solidified.

Persistent lava lakes are a rare phenomenon. Only a few volcanoes have hosted persistent or near-persistent lava lakes during recent decades. A certain number of occurrences of temporary lava lakes (sometimes called lava ponds or lava pools, depending on their size and nature) have also been observed. (wiki)
Lava tubes 8
Lazarus species WHS where Lazarus species have been found: organisms that have been rediscovered as being still alive after having been widely considered extinct for years.

"A subtle difference is sometimes made between a "living fossil" and a "Lazarus taxon". A Lazarus taxon is a taxon (either one species or a group of species) that suddenly reappears, either in the fossil record or in nature (i.e., as if the fossil had "come to life again"), while a living fossil is a species that (seemingly) has not changed during its very long lifetime (i.e., as if the fossil species has always lived)." (wiki)
Liquid Mercury WHS whose history involves liquid Mercury. (The use of Cinnabar/Mercury Sulphide as a colouring agent is excluded.) 12
Living Fossils A living fossil is a group of organisms that disappears from one or more periods of the fossil record, only to appear again later. 13
Living Stromatolites "Stromatolites consist of multiple rock layers (or "stone blankets," as the Greek name implies) that formed in shallow, intertidal and sub-tidal environments. Most, if not all, of these rock formations are the remnants of ancient microbial mats that grew on top of each other in successive generations. Stromatolite-building goes on today, but very rarely. In fact, stromatolites practically dropped out of the geologic record after the Cambrian explosion (about 530 million years ago), when animals appeared that eat the mat-forming bacteria. "They've gone to extreme environments where the animals that eat them can't live," Due to this predation, microbial mats have retreated to saline lagoons and hot geothermal regions." (see Yellowstone link) 5
Mammal Migrations WHS where significant numbers of migratory mammals may be viewed at the appropriate time of year. 7
Mammoths 4
Mangroves Mangroves are species of trees and shrubs that grow in saline (brackish) coastal habitats in the tropics and subtropics. 40
Microcosm WHS labelled as 'Microscosm'. 5
Natural Arches and Bridges 24
Non-Carbonate Karst Landscapes "Karst" is a land system that has been shaped, at least largely, by chemical solution. The vast majority of such landscapes worldwide were formed in limestone or other carbonate rocks. "It is now widely recognised that both quartz and amorphous silica are soluble in water, particularly at high temperatures. However, solution is much slower than in many other rocks such as the carbonates, gypsum and salt" (AB - IUCN). This phenomenon has only been identified by geo-morphologists since c1966. 3
Notable examples of island gigantism 11
Notable examples of multiple speciation in one site 6
Notable Extremophiles An extremophile is an organism that thrives in physically or geochemically extreme conditions that are detrimental to most life on Earth. 8
Notable for Bats WHS which derive their OUV from bats or are known for remarkable bat behaviour such as outflights. 6
Notable Trees Individual trees or set of trees that are particularly remarkable for their size, age or history. This excludes entire forests that do not have at least one or a few trees that stand out. 25
Orchids The Orchidaceae or orchid family is a diverse and widespread family of flowering plants with colorful and fragrant blooms. (wiki) 34
Otters WHS where otters can be found in the wild. 65
Oxbow lakes An oxbow lake is a U-shaped body of water formed when a wide meander from the main stem of a river is cut off to create a lake. This landform is called an oxbow lake for the distinctive curved shape, named after part of a yoke for oxen. In Australia, an oxbow lake is called a billabong. 10
Peat See 23
Penguins Sites where Penguins can be seen together with species - excluding rarities/vagrants/accidentals. 12
Permafrost Mounds In Permafrost areas, where the underlying substrate contains ice and water, it is possible for this to grow under the soil surface and create visible surface mounds. The name given to these mounds varies according to the part of the world in which they occur and the detailed nature of the process creating them . The internationally accepted geo-morphological names are Pingo ( ) and Palsa ( ). 3
Protection of a single named species WHS whose name refers to the protection of a single species.

Whilst inscription of a "living" natural site requires that the entire ecosystem be protected some sites are inscribed primarily to preserve a small number of rare or endangered species rather than a representative ecosystem. In a few examples this raison d'etre is so significant or iconic that the entire site has been named after the species either instead of or as well as location of the site.
Rainforests 69
Ratites A ratite is any of a diverse group of large, flightless birds. 42
Reintroduced Species WHS whose animal "wildlife" includes reintroduced species following extinction (or near extinction) of the natural population, thus resulting in a significant "non-natural" (human introduced) element in the gene pool. Such re-introductions are now strictly controlled and monitored - though that was not always the case All the Oryx in the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary (delisted in 2007) were from re-introduced stock - originally from San Diego Wildlife Park. The connection is limited to sites where reintroductions have taken place, although plans exist in other WHS such as for Wolves in Olympic NP. 12
Rhino habitat WHS where Rhino live in the wild. 16
Rias "A ria is a coastal inlet formed by the partial submergence of an unglaciated river valley .... that remains open to the sea." Rias may thus be fed by rivers which are insignificant in relation to the estuary's size and length. See
River Dolphins "River dolphins are the four living species of dolphin which reside in freshwater rivers and estuaries. River dolphins inhabit areas of Asia and South America. They are classed in the Platanistoidea superfamily of cetaceans. Three species live in fresh water rivers" (Wiki) - South Asian, Amazonian and Chinese. The latter or "Yangtze Dolphin" is now considered "functionally extinct" (Wiki) 6
Salamanders 16
Salt Flats WHS containing Salt Flats ("a flat expanse of salt left by the evaporation of a body of salt water"). 8
Saltpeter 5
Sandstone Formations WHS that include sizeable / notable formations of sandstone rock. 13
Sea Stacks A Sea Stack is a geological landform consisting of a steep and often vertical column or columns of rock in the sea near a coast, isolated by erosion.

Seals WHS where Seals exist in the wild. 41
Sharks WHS where the presence of sharks is remarkable in quantity or variety, especially when mentioned in the brief description. 8
Significant Karst Features 34
Siraneans WHS in which members of the family Sirenia are found. "Sirenia (commonly referred to as Sea cows) is an order of fully aquatic, herbivorous mammals that inhabit swamps, rivers, estuaries, marine wetlands, and coastal marine waters. Four species are living in two families and genera, These are the dugong (1 species) and manatees (3 species)." (Wiki) 19
Sloths WHS where sloths occur alive and in the wild. 16
Snow leopard WHS where Snow leopards live in the wild. 11
Somalia-Masai regional centre of endemism In identifying the natural biodiversity regions in Africa, Kingdon (1989) uses the fact that around one quarter of the known plants and animals indigenous to Africa are clustered in distinct geographical enclaves referred to as regional centres of endemism. The Somalia-Masai regional centre of endemism is dry, with rainfall rarely exceeding 500 mm a year. Over half of the 2 500 plant species found are endemic to this regional centre of endemism. 3
Steppe A steppe is a region characterised by grassland plain without trees. 11
Stratovolcanoes A stratovolcano, also known as a composite volcano, is a tall, conical volcano built up by many layers (strata) of hardened lava, tephra, pumice, and volcanic ash. They are among the most common types of volcanoes, in contrast to the less common shield volcanoes. (wiki) 16
Strepsirrhini WHS where living Strepsirrhini can be found.

Strepsirrhini is a suborder of primates that includes the lemuriform primates, which consist of the lemurs of Madagascar, galagos ("bushbabies") and pottos from Africa, and the lorises from India and southeast Asia. (wiki)
Strict Nature Reserve WHS that include a Strict Nature Reserve, a zone with the highest wilderness protection and not open to tourism. They are part of IUCN category Ia. 14
Swamp Swamp is the common term used for the flooded grasslands and savannas terrestrial biome. Its component ecoregions are generally located at subtropical and tropical latitudes, which are flooded seasonally or year-round. 6
Table Mountain A Table Mountain (also known as Mesa or Tepui) has a flat top and steep slopes. 11
Tapirs WHS where Tapirs live in the wild.

Tapirs inhabit jungle and forest regions of South America, Central America, and Southeast Asia. The four species of tapirs are the Brazilian tapir, the Malayan tapir, Baird's tapir and the mountain tapir. All four are classified as endangered or vulnerable. (wiki)
Tectonic processes WHS where Tectonic processes are part of the OUV 11
Tidal effects WHS showing remarkable tidal changes or other tidal effects. 16
Tiger habitat WHS where Tigers live in the wild. 14
Tombolos A tombolo is a spit of sand linking an island to the mainland (or to another island), formed by longshore drift. 4
Travertine pools 7
Tundra 13
Turtles and tortoises WHS that hold living species of turtles or tortoises. 65
Underground river 9
Virgin Forests A virgin, primeval or old-growth forest is a forest that has attained great age without significant disturbance. 17
Visual effects of Cloud, Fog and Mist WHS which OUV (partly) depends on Cloud, Fog and/or Mist visual effects 7
Volcanic Hotspots A hotspot is a region of high volcanic activity not directly connected to a tectonic plate boundary. It is caused by upwelling of deep mantle plumes. Since their locations within the Earth are relatively "fixed", slow tectonic plate movements over them can create volcanic island chains/undersea ridges. Geologists have identified some 40-50 such hotspots around the globe although the causes of volcanism at some of them is debated.

See this site for list and map.

Recently it is understood that they are no longer 'fixed' as previously thought due to the recent study published in Science magazine and reported on here at Science Daily. Hotspots are not stationary they move because the Earth's mantle is in constant motion.
See Science Daily
Whales WHS where Whales exist in the wild. 29