Mangrove ecosystems are found globally along tropical and subtropical coastlines. They exhibit a steep environmental gradient between inland and marine systems, providing a unique, selective environment that shapes local morphological, physiological, and behavioral adaptations. In the first global assessment of terrestrial vertebrate species that are restricted to mangrove ecosystems, we found 48 bird, 14 reptile, 1 amphibian, and 6 mammal species endemic to mangroves, the majority of which are found in Asia and Australia. We also found that more than 40% of assessed mangrove-endemic vertebrates are globally threatened. Clearly, additional research is needed to better understand mangrove-endemic vertebrates in order to conserve them. Future research should focus on global inventories, intercontinental comparative work, and the ecology of mangrove-endemic vertebrates.
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Vol. 59 • No. 7