Between 1992 and 2015, nearly 148 million hectares (Mha) within biodiversity hotspots – biologically rich but threatened terrestrial regions – worldwide underwent land‐cover changes, equating to 6% of the total areal extent of hotspots.

Forest losses in hotspots amounted to 54 Mha (–7% of the forest area present in 1992), driven primarily by agricultural expansion (38 Mha); shrubland or savanna also declined by 23 Mha (–8%). Over the same time, urban areas expanded by 10 Mha (+108%).