It is sometimes used as a synonym for the tropical area of South America.
The Neotropic ecozone includes the Amazon Rainforest and so is one of the most important reserves of biodiversity on Earth. Extensive deforestation in the late 20th century has reduced this diversity to a degree.
This zone also includes the last Stone Age humans to have evaded contact with the rest of human modern civilization. Accordingly, conservation in the Neotropic zone is a hot political concern, and many arguments about development versus aboriginal versus ecological rights to exist are raised about it.
Animal families originally unique to the Neotropic include:
Plant species originally unique to the Neotropic include
(this article is a stub - the Neotropic is probably the most diverse zone on Earth - it should contain a survey of current issues and ecological overview)
External link :
Map of the ecozones (http://www.panda.org/about_wwf/where_we_work/ecoregions/global200/pages/mainmap.htm)