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Why San Diego?

California has more species, more endemic species, and more rare and endangered species than any other state in the US (Stein et al., 2000). San Diego in particular is considered a biodiversity hotspot. It has a large number of endemic species because of the varied topography and the unusual Mediterranean climate. It is the southern range limit of many northern species and the northern limit of many southern species. But human development has created tremendous habitat loss, thus San Diego County may have the largest number of imperiled species as well (Dobson et al., 1997).