AskDefine | Define zoogeography

The Collaborative Dictionary

Zoogeography \Zo`o*ge*og"ra*phy\, n. [Zoo- + geography.] The study or description of the geographical distribution of animals. [1913 Webster]



  1. The scientific study of the geographical distribution of animal species


Zoogeography is the branch of the science of biogeography that is concerned with the geographic distribution of animal species and their attributes. That makes Zoogeography the study of patterns of biodiversity regarding time and space.


Zoogeography is the study of the patterns of the past, present, and future distribution of animals (and their attributes) in nature and the processes that regulate these distributions, and it’s the scientific analysis of the patterns of biodiversity regarding time and space. Zoogeography integrates information on the historical and current ecology, genetics, and physiology of organisms and their interaction with environmental processes (continental drift, climate) in regulating geographic distributions of animals. Scientists use descriptive and analytical approaches useful in hypothesis testing in zoogeography and which illustrates the applied aspects of zoogeography (e.g. refuge design in conservation).

Branches of Zoogeography

Zoogeography is often divided into two main branches: Ecological Zoogeography and Historical Zoogeography. The former investigates the role of current day biotic and abiotic interactions in influencing animal distributions; the latter are concerned with historical reconstruction of the origin, dispersal, and extinction of taxa. Faunistics is a study of the fauna of some territory or area.

Branches of Biology relevant to Zoogeography

It’s part of a more general science known as biogeography. Phytogeographers are concerned with patterns and process in plant distribution. Most of the major questions and kinds of approaches taken to answer such questions are held in common between phyto- and zoogeographers.


1. Brown, J.H. & Lomolino, M.V. 1998. Biogeography. 2nd edition. Chapter 1.
2. Avise, J.C. 1994. Molecular markers, natural history and evolution. Chapman and Hall. Pp. 224-226.
3. Bowen, B.W. et al. 1992. Global population structure and natural history of the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) in terms of matriarchial phylogeny. Evolution 46: 865-881.

External links

Resources for students of Zoogeography

  • Biology 413: A course outline and collection of Web resources by Dr. Taylor, UBC
zoogeography in Czech: Zoogeografie
zoogeography in German: Geozoologie
zoogeography in Spanish: Zoogeografía
zoogeography in Croatian: Zoogeografija
zoogeography in Indonesian: Zoogeografi
zoogeography in Italian: Zoogeografia
zoogeography in Hebrew: זואוגאוגרפיה
zoogeography in Georgian: ზოოგეოგრაფია
zoogeography in Lithuanian: Zoogeografija
zoogeography in Polish: Zoogeografia
zoogeography in Portuguese: Zoogeografia
zoogeography in Slovak: Zoogeografia
zoogeography in Chinese: 动物地理学
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