There are 34 internationally recognised biodiversity Hotspots in the world. Three of these are found in the Western Cape:
Cape Floral Region
Positioned largely within the bounds of the Western Cape, this floral treasure contains an estimated 9500 species, of which 70% are endemic. Only 9% of the biome is formally protected.
Succulent Karoo Biome
Shared with Namibia and the Northern Cape, this biome is a remarkable exception to the rule that arid areas have a low biodiversity, in that this area has 4849 recorded plant species of which 1940 are endemic. Only 1% of this biome is formally protected.
Thicket Biome occurs only marginally in the Western Cape (5.46%) with its main distribution in the Eastern Cape, where the Succulent Thicket Ecosystem Programme (STEP) is facilitating the increased conservation of this unique biome.