Hotspot analysis is the identification and ranking of countries or other geographic regions on the basis of biodiversity. Hotspots have exceptional biodiversity per unit land area. This paper introduces a new method of hotspot analysis that ranks hotspots on the basis of biodivers- ity and anthropogenic threats to biodiversity. These threats are represented by socioeconomic factors such as human population size, rural population density, population growth rate, and governmental debt. Residuals from multiple regression models were used to rank the 17 mega- diversity countries. In general, ranks based on threats to biodiversity were different from those based on biodiversity alone.

Hotspot analysis involves either the identification or ranking of political and eco- logical regions on the basis of their biodiversity. A biodiversity hotspot is a region that has an extraordinary amount of diversity. Perhaps the first hotspot analysis was that conducted by Myers (1988, 1990) when he described the immense endemic plant diversity found in several regions of the world. Since then, hotspot analysis has become more quantitative and comprehensive. Currently, the identification and ranking of hotspots is based on the amount of biodiversity per unit land area (Veech, 2000; Curio, 2002) and may also include an assessment of the threats to biodiversity, the potential for successful conservation, and the cost of implementing specific conservation strategies (Reyers, Van Jaarsveld, McGeoch, & James, 1998; Balmford, Gaston, Rodrigues, & James, 2000a; Dobson, Rodŕıguez, & Roberts, 2001; Sierra, Campos, & Chamberlin, 2002). This paper focuses on describing a method by which various threats to biodiversity can be included in the ranking of hotspots.

Analysing the threats to biodiversity hotspots is of great importance. Those hot- spots that are the most threatened should receive the most immediate and largest share of financial resources for their preservation. Such preservation could include the continued protection and maintenance of national parks and nature reserves as well as the purchase of additional lands that increase the overall amount of biodivers- ity preserved. However, narrative description of the threats to each hotspot is not sufficient for a rigorous assessment of which hotspots are the most threatened and in need of financial support. Instead, hotspot analysis should always be quantitative, standardized and objective.