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The orange-breasted sunbird (Nectarinia violacea) is exclusively found in fynbos vegetation.

Endemism is the ecological state of a species being unique to a defined geographic location, such as an island, nation, country or other defined zone, or habitat type; organisms that are indigenous to a place are not endemic to it if they are also found elsewhere. The extreme opposite of endemism is cosmopolitan distribution. Another term for a species that is endemic is precinctive, which applies to species (and subspecific categories) that are restricted to a defined geographical area. A native species, such as a native plant, is one that is considered to have been endemic for a relatively long period of time.

The word endemic is from New Latin endēmicus, from Greek ενδήμος, endēmos, "native." Endēmos is formed of en, "in," and dēmos, "the people."<ref>"Endemic". Reference.com. Retrieved 6 december 2014.</ref> An alternative term, precinctive, has been suggested by some scientists,Unknown extension tag "ref" and was first used by MacCaughey in 1917. It is the equivalent of ‘endemism’.<ref>MacCaughey, Vaughaun 1917. A survey of the Hawaiian land flora. Botanical Gazette 64: 89-114 [see p. 92]. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2469367</ref> Precinction was perhaps first used by Frank and McCoy.<ref>Frank, J.H. and McCoy, E.D. 1990. Endemics and epidemics of shibboleths and other things causing chaos. Florida Entomologist 73: 1-9. http://journals.fcla.edu/flaent/article/view/58577/56256</ref><ref>Frank, J.H. and McCoy, E.D. 1995. Precinctive insect species in Florida. Florida Entomologist 78: 21-35. [also uses word precinction]. http://journals.fcla.edu/flaent/article/view/74657/72315</ref> Precinctive seems to have been coined by David Sharp of the Hawaiian fauna:<ref>Sharp, D. 1900. Coleoptera. I. Coleoptera Phytophaga, p. 91-116 in D. Sharp [ed.]. Fauna Hawaiiensis, Being the Land-Fauna of the Hawaiian Islands. Cambridge Univ. Press; Cambridge, vol. 2 part 3 [see p. 91].</ref> "I use the word precinctive in the sense of 'confined to the area under discussion' … 'precinctive forms' means those forms that are confined to the area specified." That definition excludes artificial confinement of examples by humans in far-off botanical gardens or zoological parks.


Endemism sections
Intro   Overview    Threats to highly endemistic regions    Notes    References    Further reading   

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