The status of the invertebrate fauna on the South Atlantic island of St Helena: problems, analysis, and recommendations

Gray, Alan ORCID:; Wilkins, Vicky; Pryce, David; Fowler, Liza; Key, Roger S.; Mendel, Howard; Jervois, Michael; Hochkirch, Axel; Cairns-Wicks, Rebecca; Dutton, Amy-Jayne; Malan, Lourens. 2019 The status of the invertebrate fauna on the South Atlantic island of St Helena: problems, analysis, and recommendations. Biodiversity and Conservation, 28 (2). 275-296.

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We present an analysis of the invertebrates of St Helena using an invertebrate conservation evaluation framework, to review invertebrate data, highlight knowledge gaps and prioritise invertebrate conservation needs that perhaps could be applied to other regions of the world. St Helena’s invertebrate fauna has 891 genera and 1133 species. The fauna has a high level of endemism with 450 species (equal to 96% of all native species) but the total species richness now comprises many introduced species (664) with 93 species in 24 orders that are entirely novel to St Helena. The elevation ranges of native species appear to be narrow, most being confined to higher elevations above 500 m. St Helena has had a large number of probable extinction events; 30 insects, and 19 molluscs, and the threat of further extinctions remains high. The cumulative invertebrate extinctions on St Helena exceed the global background extinction rate on an island barely covering 122 km2. We present actions and timelines to focus invertebrate conservation on St Helena; taxonomy, ecology, long term monitoring and invasive species control are priority areas to reduce extinction risk.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Biodiversity (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 0960-3115
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Publisher link (see Related URLs) provides read-only access to the published paper.
Additional Keywords: extinction, island biodiversity, species richness, endemism, Red List
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Related URLs:
Date made live: 05 Dec 2018 11:39 +0 (UTC)

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