Megadiverse Countries

Name the 17 countries of the world that are considered to be "extremely biologically diverse" by Conservation International.
Quiz idea: iheargeo
Quiz by Quizmaster
Rate:
Last updated: November 1, 2018
First submittedAugust 2, 2013
Times taken87,982
Average score76.5%
Rating4.94
4:00
Enter country here:
0
 / 17 guessed
The quiz is paused. You have remaining.
Scoring
You scored / = %
This beats or equals % of test takers also scored 100%
The average score is
Your high score is
Your fastest time is
Keep scrolling down for answers and more stats ...
Country
Australia
Brazil
China
Colombia
D.R. Congo
Ecuador
Country
India
Indonesia
Madagascar
Malaysia
Mexico
Papua New Guinea
Country
Peru
Philippines
South Africa
United States
Venezuela
+34
Level 84
Sep 19, 2013
I remember taking an extremely similar quiz before... trick is just to remember that the closer to the tropics a country is the more diversity, and of course being a big country helps, as does being a country made up of many islands which increase genetic drift.
+5
Level 84
Sep 19, 2013
I guess I already took the original by iheargeo. That's why it looks familiar.
+2
Level 58
Apr 16, 2022
I was wondering.
+4
Level 50
Sep 20, 2013
Many of the countries listed don't fit into any of your 3 criteria.
+12
Level 88
Sep 23, 2013
Which ones do not fit? They all fit one or several of his criteria by my way of looking at it.
+15
Level 84
Nov 5, 2013
Yeah.. which don't fit? Every single one of these countries have some land within the tropics (between 23 degrees north and south of the equator). And size obviously plays a factor. The ones that have the most land farthest from the tropics (USA, China, South Africa) are all huge. The smallest countries are the ones that are right on or near the equator (Ecuador, Papua New Guinea) or they are both near the equator and made up of tons of islands (Malaysia, Philippines)... the criteria I gave was perfect.

There are a few countries that fit the criteria I gave that *don't* make the list... those are all African countries on the Sahara desert.

+3
Level 52
Nov 21, 2015
Actually none are on the Sahara Desert. But his criteria were right on. I guessed by 3 criteria: Size, South America, and the country's tropics, and the country's animals.
+13
Level 84
Nov 21, 2015
There are a few countries that fit the criteria I gave that *DON'T* make the list (large, close to the tropics)... those are all African countries on the Sahara desert.
+2
Level 70
Dec 7, 2016
Another consideration is having a wide elevation and/or latitude change.
+6
Level 84
Nov 5, 2017
...eh.. actually I think the countries with the greatest elevation are simply excluded because mountains, much like deserts, tend to be much less biodiverse than jungle basins... for example Bolivia and Ethiopia I think both fail to make the list because in spite of being large and near the tropics the elevation is too high.
+3
Level 58
Mar 2, 2018
to kalbahamut last comment: maybe the problem with Bolivia and Ethiopia is not so much their average elevation but them being not so humid. And both countriesm while totally into the tropical area, are not so close to the Equator (in fact Bolivia's southernmost point is very close to the Tropic of Capricorn).
+4
Level 65
Jun 26, 2018
Not a high average elevation, but a large elevation span. Colombia is considered the most biodiverse country of the world partly because every few hundred metres you gain in elevation the species you see will be different ones.
+4
Level 84
Jun 26, 2018
High elevation will lead to lower humidity. Frequent changes in elevation will lead to pockets of biological isolation and increase genetic drift having the same effect as islands.
+1
Level 72
Jun 26, 2018
I didn't think of it that way. Good point.
+11
Level 82
Jun 26, 2018
Frankly I'm surprised Bolivia doesn't make it. It sits in tropical latitudes, has a large variety of climates and has a large area. Especially given that part of its territory lies in the Amazon Basin, probably the single most biodiverse region in the world. Perhaps the lack of coastline and therefore marine biodiversity is working against it.
+5
Level 87
Jun 26, 2018
Brain pain reading the comments here.
+1
Level 90
Jun 26, 2018
According to the wikipedia definition megadiverse countries must have 5000 endemic plant species and must border marine ecosystems. Therefore Ethiopia and Bolivia both don't make the cut. A quick search on Japan (which I thought would be on here) says there are 6000 species of plants so for some reason it appears to be overlooked as I believe there is a coastline.
+3
Level 74
Jan 15, 2021
I think Kalbahamut has a strong point and he makes it well. I would also say that being landlocked hinders biodiversity, hence why all 17 of these countries have shorelines, and most of them lots of it.
+2
Level 85
May 5, 2021
Plenty of others make kalbahamut's criteria but are not in the Sahara ... Tanzania, Kenya e.g.
+2
Level 65
May 5, 2021
I think South Africa is the only one that might not fit these criteria. South Africa is big of course, but not really an outlier among much of Subsaharan Africa. Angola is larger and doesn't make the list, and other countries like Ethiopia, Tanzania, Nigeria, and Mozambique are not that far behind.

I think the fynbos ecosystem might be carrying a lot of weight for South Africa. That combined with also having the more pan-African ecology in the east might be what brings South Africa up.

+1
Level 84
May 15, 2022
South Africa is the 3rd largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa after the DRC, which makes the list, and Angola, which apart from the coast is mostly a high arid plateau and some desert in the south.

After South Africa, the next-largest country in the region is Mauritania, which is about 20% smaller.

+1
Level 54
Mar 9, 2018
The last two could be condensed into widest spread - that is, both larger and more 'spread out' countries are good criteria. This is most notable with the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
+3
Level 58
Mar 9, 2018
Samba na cara da inimiga
+4
Level 72
Jun 26, 2018
Anyone care to translate this? I tried Google and got "Samba in the face of the enemy," which doesn't make much sense.
+13
Level 84
Jan 9, 2019
Agreed, utter nonsense. Always merengue before you enemies. Samba only with friends.
+9
Level 66
May 11, 2021
Cringe Dragon: it's a Brazilian internet expression that literally says "Dancing Samba in front of your enemy" (the verb "sambar" can mean dancing Samba as well). It's used when you do a great job and you are showing it to somebody. Doesn't need to have literally an enemy. I think he/she said that because Brazil is very good regarding biodiversity.
+1
Level 68
Sep 23, 2022
Shaka, when the walls fell
+1
Level 72
Feb 23, 2020
Indonesia fits all three of those criteria
+2
Level 74
Sep 19, 2013
Papua New Guinea was the one I couldn't think of.
+12
Level 69
Sep 19, 2013
:/ That's the one I typed in first.
+2
Level 67
Jun 26, 2018
I always forget that one too, even though it always pops up as the most diverse country in so many respects.
+3
Level 57
Sep 19, 2013
Missed the DRC! Even Papua New Guinea came to me first! lol
+1
Level 76
Sep 19, 2013
The Amazon river got me four right off the bat.
+1
Level 45
Feb 17, 2014
I forgot Madagascar. I am ashamed of myself.
+6
Level 81
Apr 2, 2014
As well you should be
+2
Level 20
Mar 7, 2014
71% quite good.
+5
Level 87
Aug 20, 2014
"You scored 15/17 = 88%.

This beats or equals 88.8% of test takers."

Interesting....

+15
Level 67
Jan 9, 2019
You shouldnt beat people..
+3
Level 71
Dec 18, 2014
surprised not to see contries like Costa Rica, Botswana, Namibia, Kenya or Tanzania...
+3
Level 75
May 5, 2021
Costa Rica is too small, Botswana is landlocked and thus misses out on a lot of marine diversity, Namibia has a lot of desert or semi-desert areas and lacks the ecological diversity of some of the others, Kenya actually is not that large, and Tanzania surprised me as well.
+2
Level 37
Mar 4, 2015
Where's Argentina?
+36
Level 63
Dec 7, 2016
South America.
+17
Level 72
Jun 26, 2018
Ugh I hate these comments. The first few were clever, but after 1,264 of them it's starting to get old.
+18
Level 87
Jan 9, 2019
1264 was when Kublai solidified his role as Khan of Khans and truly settled the Mongol Dynasty down in China, moved the capital to the modern location of Beijing
+5
Level 82
Jun 26, 2018
Argentina is huge, but mostly sits outside tropical latitudes. Its climate zones are also those that don't particularly lend themselves to biodiversity. There's arid mountainous terrain and semi-arid terrain in the north and west. There's open grassland, mostly given over to agriculture in the centre (the Pampas), there's cold desert (central Patagonia) then there's cold steppe and sub-polar forests in Southern Patagonia. The actual high biodiversity area is largely restricted to the three small northeastern provinces, and even then that area pales in comparison to the biodiversity of the Amazonian countries.
+1
Level 59
Nov 21, 2015
Only got 11. I was too focused on South America which was obviously has a lot of bio diversity.
+1
Level 66
Nov 21, 2015
How could I miss China?
+1
Level 76
Nov 21, 2015
How could I miss the US? 16/17.
+2
Level 78
Nov 21, 2015
Seems like Russia would be on the list, with so much area.
+5
Level 82
Jun 26, 2018
Large area, but relatively low diversity in climate types. Colder areas closer to the poles tend to have lower biodiversity. Plus, the presence of tropical rainforest is virtually a must to be on this list.
+1
Level 59
Nov 23, 2015
Can't believe Russia is not on the list - from the polar north to the half-desert south, Siberia, Kamchatka, Caucasus... Lake Baikal itself is just amazing with so many endemic species
+7
Level 84
Nov 5, 2017
Too dry, high, and cold. Neither tundra nor desert are good for biodiversity.
+1
Level 69
Aug 8, 2016
Missed just Mexico and PNG, surprised I got Madagascar.
+1
Level 52
Dec 8, 2016
Got Mexico with 3 secs to go. Stoked. Also tried countries like Costa Rica, Panama, Botswana, Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania, India, and good old NZ as well which obviously weren't on this list
+2
Level 40
Jan 8, 2017
Forgot Madagascar! I should have known because of the movie!
+1
Level 30
Apr 24, 2017
Ecuador was my only surprise... but I managed to guess it! :) 100%
+3
Level 75
Jun 26, 2018
It helps that it contains Galapagos
+1
Level 34
Mar 10, 2018
Do they grow Bananas and coffee ?
+3
Level 70
Jun 26, 2018
Considering Costa Rica is famous for biodiversity...I'm VERY shocked they aren't here
+2
Level 71
Jun 26, 2018
It is, but it's also a lot smaller than all of the other countries
+1
Level 82
May 2, 2019
Yeah, I tried it. Was there recently and on guided tours they often mentioned that for its size it's the most biodiverse country in the world. It's small though. Wikipedia has it as "in the top 20" most biodiverse countries so I guess it just misses out on being on this list.
+1
Level 48
Jun 26, 2018
I was so sure Bolivia would be on the list that I input it three times before giving up
+1
Level 72
Jun 26, 2018
Why, Bolivia is at a high elevation and most of the country is semi-arid.
+1
Level 82
Jun 26, 2018
Bolivia also has territory in the Amazon basin, an extremely biodiverse area, though. EDIT: Additionally the tropical climate area of Bolivia is larger than the arid altiplano areas.
+1
Level 59
Jun 26, 2018
I can't believe I forgot India. It's like the third most obvious answer.
+1
Level 61
Jun 26, 2018
Yeah, me too. Got all the others, but not India.
+12
Level 90
Jun 26, 2018
Can't believe Japan is not on here with all the different Pokemon there are.
+5
Level 82
May 2, 2019
It was, but since Pokemon Go was released they've pretty much been wiped out. When will we learn...
+1
Level 75
Sep 22, 2022
Jokes aside, I am a bit surprised Japan didn't make it. Large amount of coastline, multiple islands with different climates. Seems like it would be pretty ecologically diverse.
+1
Level 23
Jun 27, 2018
I missed Madagascar yet got Colombia!
+1
Level 82
May 5, 2021
You say that like it's strange. Colombia is actually the world's most biodiverse country. It's also about twice the size of Madagascar and sits on the equator, whereas Madagascar is 12 degrees south of the equator at its most northerly point and some of its territory is outside the tropics. It's also relatively dry in many places. By contrast Colombia has territory in the Amazon basin, as well as coastal rainforests on its Pacific and Caribbean coasts. It has huge elevation variation and its multiple high mountain ranges create isolated pockets of biodiversity. Just compare the landscapes of the two countries - Colombia is far more diverse.
+1
Level 69
Sep 22, 2022
hmmm.. I always thought Brazil to be the most diverse. Interesting.
+1
Level 76
Jun 27, 2018
Suprisingly fun quiz to take!
+1
Level 72
Sep 1, 2019
Iran has been added to the megadiverse list on Wikipedia
+2
Level 54
Feb 15, 2021
It hasn't, but it is in the "Like-minded Megadiverse Countries".
+1
Level 51
Aug 18, 2020
I got everything except china and india... didn't guess them because I thought they were too urban, did guess gabon and russia though
+1
Level 57
Jan 15, 2021
I thought Bolivia and Guyana were up there
+1
Level 82
May 5, 2021
Guyana's relatively small (though not hugely less than Ecuador), but someone elsewhere said coastal and marine ecosystems were a requirement for listing. If that's the case, Chile denied Bolivia a chance of being on this list back in 1879 when it took its coastline.
+1
Level 53
May 5, 2021
I would have gotten 16/17 if I could spell "Venezuela".
+1
Level 57
May 5, 2021
I seem to forget the phillipines in almost all quizzes, I don't know why
+1
Level 27
May 5, 2021
And you spelled Philippines wrong on your comment.
+1
Level 51
May 5, 2021
speak of the devil, i was only reading about this on wikipedia yesterday, an easy perfect for me even though i feel like a cheater
+1
Level 52
May 5, 2021
I don't know why i didn't think of the Philippines lol but i did guess every country around it so i guess i just forgot that it even existed haha
+3
Level 57
May 5, 2021
Countries of the World But You Have To Spell Them Backwards: https://www.jetpunk.com/user-quizzes/322930/countries-of-the-world-but-you-have-to-spell-them-backwards

(Sorry for advertising)

+1
Level 59
Aug 12, 2021
Just missed Venezuela. Fun quiz
+1
Level 59
Jun 13, 2022
this site is the most accurate site i could find which somewhat conflicts with your list

https://rainforests.mongabay.com/03highest_biodiversity.htm

https://news.mongabay.com/2016/05/top-10-biodiverse-countries/

+1
Level 37
Sep 17, 2022
Although being kinda obvious, I would never expect Brazil being more guessed than the USA in a quiz... ;-;
+1
Level 68
Sep 22, 2022
Ecuador is packing a lot.
+1
Level 25
Sep 22, 2022
add the vatican