1 Tahrcountry Musings: Invertebrate conservation - impediments and imponderables

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Invertebrate conservation - impediments and imponderables

The seven impediments in invertebrate conservation and how to overcome them
Pedro Cardoso, Terry L. Erwin,Paulo A.V. Borges and Tim R. New
Biological Conservation
Article in Press, Corrected Proof

This is only a sneak preview of the upcoming paper. The article is in press with corrected proof.

When it comes to conservation invertebrates often get step motherly treatment. In this paper the researchers identify seven impediments to their effective protection:
 (1) Invertebrates and their ecological services are mostly unknown to the general public which the researchers refer to as the public dilemma.
(2) Policymakers and stakeholders are mostly unaware of invertebrate conservation problems which the researchers refer to as the political dilemma.
(3) Basic science on invertebrates is scarce and underfunded which the researchers refer to as the scientific dilemma.
 (4) Most species are undescribed which the researchers say is the Linnean shortfall.
 (5) The distribution of described species is mostly unknown referred to by the researchers as the Wallacean shortfall.
 (6) The abundance of species and their changes in space and time are unknown referred to as the Prestonian shortfall
(7) Species ways of life and sensitivities to habitat change are largely unknown referred to as the Hutchinsonian shortfall.
The authors say recent developments in taxonomy, inventorying, monitoring, data compilation, statistical analysis and science communication makes it easy to overcome these impediments in both policy and practice.
Their suggestions run like this
For the public dilemma: better public information and marketing.
For the political dilemma: red-listing, legal priority listing and inclusion in environmental impact assessment studies.
 For the scientific dilemma: parataxonomy, citizen science programs and biodiversity informatics.
For the Linnean shortfall: biodiversity surrogacy, increased support for taxonomy and advances in taxonomic publications.
 For the Wallacean shortfall: funding of inventories, compilation of data in public repositories and species distribution modeling.
 For the Prestonian shortfall: standardized protocols for inventorying and monitoring, widespread use of analogous protocols and increased support for natural history collections.
 For the Hutchinsonian shortfall: identifying good indicator taxa and studying extinction rates by indirect evidence.

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