| ||Part of the regional natural park of Corsica, the Gulf of Porto is listed on the Unesco World Heritage List since 1983. The geology of this part of the Corsican coast is unique for its red porphyry headlands. The scrubland vegetation is also outstanding because it is mostly untouched. For Conservation International, the Mediterranean basin as a whole is one of Earth’s 34 biodiversity « hotspots », ecosystems characterized both by exceptional levels of plant endemism and by serious levels of habitat loss. With 22,500 endemic plant species, this Mediterranean hotspot has four times more species than all the rest of Europe. But it is also threatened. This part of the world has experienced intensive human development and impact on its ecosystems for thousands of years. It is heavily populated with some 300 million inhabitants and a density of 111 people per square kilometres. Because of its warm climate and beautiful scenery, the Mediterranean basin is Europe’s vacation destination with 110 million visitors each year. Populations of threatened species, animals and plants, are increasingly fragmented and isolated to make way for resort development and infrastructure on the Mediterranean coasts and islands. According to Conservation International, only 5 percent of the original extent of the hotspot contains relatively intact vegetation, placing the Mediterranean Basin among the four most significantly altered hotspots on Earth.
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