The Info List - Succulent Karoo

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The SUCCULENT KAROO is a desert ecoregion of South Africa
South Africa
and Namibia .


* 1 Setting * 2 Flora * 3 Fauna * 4 Conservation * 5 External links * 6 References


The Succulent Karoo
stretches along the coastal strip of southwestern Namibia
and South Africa's Northern Cape Province , where the cold Benguela Current offshore creates frequent fogs. The ecoregion extends inland into the uplands of South Africa's Western Cape Province
Western Cape Province
. It is bounded on the south by the Mediterranean climate fynbos , on the east by the Nama Karoo
, which has more extreme temperatures and variable rainfall, and on the north by the Namib Desert .


The Succulent Karoo
is notable for the world's richest flora of succulent plants , and harbours about one-third of the world’s approximately 10,000 succulent species. 40% of its succulent plant are endemic. The region is extraordinarily rich in geophytes , harbouring approximately 630 species.


The ecoregion is a centre of diversity and endemism for reptiles and many invertebrates . Of the ecoregion’s 50 scorpion species, 22 are endemic. Monkey beetles , largely endemic to southern Africa, are concentrated in the Succulent Karoo
and are important pollinators of the flora. So, too, are the Hymenoptera
and masarine wasps , and colletid , fideliid , and melittid bees.

Approximately 15 amphibians are found in this ecoregion, including three endemics; among the region’s 115 reptile species, 48 are endemic and 15 are strict endemics. The Sperregebiet region is a hotspot for an unusual tortoise, the Nama padloper . Endemism
is present, but less pronounced, among the Succulent Karoo’s bird and mammal populations.


The ecoregion has been designated a biodiversity hotspot by Conservation International .