Haiti Facts

  • Haiti is close to a mass extinction of its rich biodiversity, with only one percent of its original forests remaining.

    Note: Forest cover estimates for Haiti have varied widely, from < 1% to 32% with lower estimates concerning old growth (original, closed canopy) forest and higher estimates including secondary forest, plantations, and introduced species. For biodiversity, the old growth estimates are the most important.

  • Haiti′s biodiversity is concentrated in rare ′hot spots′ of original forest, mostly at the tops of mountains.

  • The great loss of forests in Haiti has led to devastating floods and droughts, loss of drinking water, and loss of life.

  • Scientists and conservationists have explored 12 of Haiti′s hot spots of biodiversity in need of immediate protection.

  • With 11 million people, Haiti is one of the most densely populated countries, placing high demands on the environment.

  • Haiti has the highest percentage of threatened frog species (more than 90%) of any country according to the IUCN.

  • There are 57 named species of frogs occurring in Haiti, but new species continue to be discovered at a high rate.

  • Nearly all Haitians use forest products, wood and charcoal, for daily cooking, but this energy source is nearly gone.

  • Haiti′s biodiversity includes more than 25,000 species of plants, animals, fungi, and microbes.

  • Roughly half of Haiti′s species are found only in Haiti and not in neighboring Dominican Republic.

    Note: The proportion of Haiti endemics varies widely with taxonomic group, with amphibians and reptiles being two of the best-known groups, and there are other large groups of high endemicity (e.g., fungi, arthropods, snails).

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  • Species of critically endangered Haitian frogs are being bred at the Philadelphia Zoo.

  • Captive breeding and cryobanking of biodiversity, in addition to creating parks, help prevent future extinctions.

  • The Haiti National Trust identifies biodiversity hotspots, acquires land for parks, and establishes long-term protection.

  • Grand Bois, a Haitian biodiversity hot spot, has critically endangered species found nowhere else.

  • Grand Colline, a Haitian biodiversity hot spot, has 2000-meter peaks and at least 56 species of birds, frogs, & reptiles.

  • Macaya, a Haitian biodiversity hot spot, has an amazing 900 species of plants and 171 species of vertebrates.

  • Bois Pangnol, a Haitian biodiversity hot spot, has four new species of frogs including one that lays green eggs.

  • Morne La Selle, a Haitian biodiversity hot spot, is the highest mountain in Haiti and has critically endangered plants and animals.

  • La Gonâve, a Haitian biodiversity hot spot has unique threatened species that evolved in isolation for millions of years.

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