UC Law Journal


The concept of "hotspots" is a cutting-edge biodiversity topic that has never received scholarly legal analysis until now. Recent credible scientific research indicates that most of the species on earth are concentrated within only a few ecosystems called hotspots. However, the current global extinction crisis, raging without any effective legal control, threatens these hotspots and the species they harbor. It is a matter of the highest importance to preserve the hotspots in the face of increasing threats from development, pollution, and other pressures.

This Article begins by tracing the history and science of extinction, including evidence as to the magnitude of the extinction crisis today, and then discusses the new hotspots concept and the importance of saving species, whether known or unknown, from extinction. This Article then demonstrates that the Endangered Species Act and other similar legislation are utterly incapable of making a meaningful difference, particularly in the case of the key hotspots and the myriad unidentified species living therein. This Article concludes with a proposal for a new, more effective and coherent approach to environmental protection of the world's hotspots.

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