Threatened species conservation of invertebrates in Australia: an overview.

Date: 27, Mar, 2019
Author(s):   Braby, Michael F.
Publisher: Austral Entomology

Invertebrates make up about 80% of all species, yet they rarely attract conservation attention compared to the more ‘charismatic’ vertebrates such as birds and mammals. Threatened species conservation, a field of conservation biology in which individual species are targeted for protection and conservation management, complements the landscape approach to biodiversity conservation and could be used more effectively to promote the plight of threatened or imperilled invertebrates given the global biodiversity crisis and estimated rates of anthropogenic species extinction. In this overview, steps in the species‐oriented conservation process are outlined, including conservation status evaluation, listing under legislation, preparation of Action and Recovery Plans, recovery actions, recovery teams and monitoring, in order to prevent extinction or minimise risk of extinction. The process is not without its challenges, but it does provide valuable information that is not always obtainable with the protection and management of threatened ecological communities and habitats. However, to be most effective, a more strategic approach to listing species is required. It is recommended that more national Action Plans, either of higher taxonomic groups or of ‘indicator’ species – suites of species indicative of threatened ecological communities, habitats, biomes, key threatening processes, co‐dependent threatened host species or short‐range endemics – are needed. These plans would provide a national overview of threatened and imperilled invertebrates in conservation need that is far more comprehensive than presently available. A detailed national list of threatened invertebrate species could then be promoted (and nominated for listing under the EPBC Act) for greater conservation advocacy.