Jim A. Bartel, Field Supervisor, Carlsbad Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
MULTI-SPECIES, REGIONAL HABITAT CONSERVATION PLANNING AND THE CONSERVATION OF LISTED INVERTEBRATES UNDER THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT
With the listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of the Delhi Sands flower-loving fly in 1993, Quino checkerspot butterfly in 1997, and various freshwater crustaceans in the mid-1990s, the challenges and often unique issues surrounding invertebrates became evident to the state agencies and local governments embarking on multi-species, regional habitat conservation planning (HCPs) in southern California. Under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA and the State of California’s Natural Community Conservation Planning Act of 2001 (NCCP), state agencies and local governments can be authorized to incidental take federally and state listed wildlife resulting from urban development on a multi-species, regional scale with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s and California Department of Fish and Game’s approval of a similarly scaled HCP and NCCP. Focusing on the proposed Western Riverside County Multiple Species Conservation Plan in Riverside County and the failed efforts to date in adjoining San Bernardino County, the biology of the Delhi Sands flower-loving fly and Quino checkerspot butterfly, and local politics and economics have significantly affected and largely determined the fate of these multi-species, regional habitat conservation planning efforts within the Inland Empire of southern California.
Scott Hoffman Black, Executive Director, Xerces Society
INVERTEBRATES AND THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT—AN ASSESSMENT OF 30 YEARS PROTECTING THE SPINELESS
What do the Kentucky cave shrimp, Delhi Sands flowerloving fly, Karner blue butterfly, and the Bruneau hotspring snail have in common? They are all invertebrates that are listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA).The ESA is one of the United States’ most important wildlife protection laws.This talk will review how effectively the ESA has protected invertebrates over its thirty-year history. The topics covered will include a look back at the first listings of invertebrates and the amendment to the ESA that allowed preferential treatment for vertebrates. The listing, recovery, and funding disparity between vertebrates and invertebrates will also be discussed, as will an unlikely ESA success story and why the ESA remains perhaps one of the most important laws in the world for protecting invertebrates. Contrary to what some might say, the ESA is not “broken,” and with proper funding and management, can continue to protect species threatened with extinction.
George Boettner, Department of Entomology, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
ALIENS FROM “OUT OF PLACE!” MANAGING ILLEGAL ALIENS ON AN EXPANDING ARK—WITHOUT ROCKING THE BOAT
Globally, one of the greatest threats to insect conservation is the introduction of alien invasive species. Yet countless numbers of new species change borders every year. In Massachusetts alone, 350 new species of invertebrates have been accidentally introduced in the past 100 years. During this same time, another 150 species of insects were purposely introduced as biological control agents to slow the spread of some of these new pest species. Evidence will be shown that some of these generalist biological control agents intended as “cures,” may have also contributed to the decline of native species. Early attempts to eradicate alien pests have included burning habitat, as well as widespread use of poisons such as lead arsenate and DDT. More recent techniques include releasing species-specific pathogens, such as fungi and viruses.This talk will explore some of the successes and failures of these approaches, with an emphasis on how to control alien species, while managing for insect conservation.
Damayanti Buchori, Conservation Entomologist, Department of Pest and Plant Diseases, Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia
INSECT CONSERVATION IN CHANGING LANDSCAPE:THE ROLE OF AGRO-ECOSYSTEM IN MAINTAINING INSECT DIVERSITY
Agriculture has traditionally been seen as a threat to conservation, primarily because of intensification in production and changes in landscape structure and composition. The predominating view is that agriculture has resulted in species decline due to the “simplification” it brings. In the last decade, however, many studies are starting to show the significance of agro-ecosystem as a reservoir for biodiversity, especially insects. Since agriculture is in itself a mosaic of land use types, different land uses may harbor different insect species.This paper presents studies on the role of agriculture landscape and agro-ecosystem management in maintaining insect diversity.The role of “complex” landscapes as one factor that can maintain diversity is discussed. Several factors that can increase the complexity of a given landscape are the presence of common weeds in field margins, hedgerow, and open fields that are shown to enhance the role of different types of natural enemies, while intercropping has been shown to decrease pest populations. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is also discussed as a management system that can enhance the practice of insect conservation.This paper also discusses the view of insect conservation as basically the utilization of insects to reach their full potential/functional role in nature.
David Culver, Professor of Biology, American University
HIDDEN DIVERSITY: INVERTEBRATES IN CAVES
Caves are not an uncommon habitat—more than 45,000 are known within the United States alone.Worldwide, nearly 10,000 invertebrate species (1,200 in the U.S.) are known exclusively from caves and other subterranean habitats, and at least several times that number remain to be described. Among aquatic species, there are more obligate cave-dwelling amphipods than any other group, but bathynellan and isopod species show a greater propensity to be limited to caves. Beetles dominate the terrestrial community, but proportionally, diplurans and several minor arachnid orders show a greater cave-dwelling propensity. Species richness is greatest in North Temperate areas, especially around the Mediterranean. Concentration in North Temperate areas is likely the result of Pleistocene effects, while the concentration in the Mediterranean is likely the result of greater available cave habitat. In the tropics, diversity is higher in Southeast Asian caves than elsewhere. Internationally, caves have been protected as Ramsar Wetlands and World Heritage sites, and in the U.S. the Endangered Species Act has been an important protection mechanism. Caves are always connected to the surface and protection of caves requires protection of surface habitats. Key contact points between surface and subsurface are cave entrances, sinking streams, and sinkholes.
Gary E. Davis, Visiting Chief Scientist, Ocean Programs, U.S. National Park Service
DESIGN ELEMENTS OF MARINE PROTECTED AREAS:THE NECESSARY INGREDIENTS FOR SUCCESS
Science and society both play critical roles in restoring impaired marine ecosystems, and in integrating taxa-based and place-based conservation strategies. Deteriorating resource conditions triggered a community’s desire to change public policy in Channel Islands National Park and National Marine Sanctuary, California. Protecting areas of the sea for conservation has been a very successful, modern, social endeavor for nearly a century. Channel Islands National Park, one of 40 marine protected areas in the U. S. National Park System, was proclaimed a national monument in 1938 and expanded substantially in 1980 by Act of Congress. Collapse of marine life populations and loss of 80% of the giant kelp forests in the park between 1980 and 1998 showed that habitat and water quality protection alone did not secure sustainable ocean ecosystems or fisheries. Failed taxa-based fishery management strategies and practices prompted formal community and agency requests in 1998 for a network of reserves protected from direct fishing impacts, to serve as marine recovery areas.A four-year attempt to build a sciencebased, community consensus for a reserve network successfully identified five recovery goals for fisheries, biodiversity, education, economic, and heritage values. Nevertheless, the appointed community group failed to find unanimous support for a specific reserve network to achieve those common goals. The group submitted a recommendation, supported by 15 of 17 members, to the U. S. Department of Commerce and to the California Fish and Game Commission in 2001 for action in their respective jurisdictions. California adopted half of the network in state waters in 2003, after extensive public review and comment.The relative influences of a wide range of scientific and social factors necessary for marine protected areas designation are described.
Gary Frazer, Assistant Director for Endangered Species, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
CONSERVATION AND RECOVERY OF NATIVE INVERTEBRATES UNDER THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was signed into law in 1973, but it was not until 1976 that five California butterflies became the first invertebrate species to receive protection under the Act.Today, 189 invertebrate species comprise slightly more than 38 percent of all listed native animal species. Approximately 80 percent of these invertebrates, including mussels, snails, crustaceans, insects, and arachnids, are listed as endangered; the rest are listed as threatened. In addition, 87 invertebrate species are currently identified as candidates for ESA protection. Several conservation tools become available when a species is listed as endangered or threatened under the Act, including regulatory protections, focused attention to recovery planning and implemen tation, the potential for land acquisition funding, and protection through cooperative agreements with the states. Still, recovery of listed invertebrates presents major challenges. Although 137 listed invertebrates have approved recovery plans, basic life history information is incomplete for many of these species. Conserving the ecosystems upon which listed species depend—the fundamental purpose of the Act—is a critical and complex undertaking for terrestrial and aquatic species alike. Critical habitat has been designated for 11 listed invertebrate species, primarily insects. However, invertebrate species’ conservation needs continue to outpace the resources that are available for the implementation of recovery actions. It is important to note that while biological recovery is the core goal of the ESA, the conservation of invertebrates often requires unique attention that goes beyond the province of science or the scope of regulatory and statutory authority. Public appreciation of the ecological and practical value of invertebrates, as well as their intrinsic worth, must be fostered in order to attain parity with the support shown for charismatic vertebrate species. In addition, the cooperative endeavors that emanate from shared concerns are key to ensuring the continued existence of our most imperiled invertebrate species in their wild habitats. The federal agencies charged with administering the ESA can bring administrative tools and scientific expertise to the table, but the specific expertise and resources that individuals and organizations bring to this critical area of conservation need are essential for success.
Steven Gaines, Director, Marine Science Institute, University of California at Santa Barbara
CATASTROPHES AND MARINE RESERVE DESIGN: CANWE BUY INSURANCE?
When viewed across long temporal and large spatial scales, severe disturbances in marine ecosystems are not uncommon. Events such as hurricanes, oil spills, disease outbreaks, hypoxic events, harmful algal blooms, and coral bleaching can cause massive mortality and dramatic habitat effects on local or even regional scales.Although designers of marine reserves might assume low risk from such events over the short term, catastrophes are quite probable over the long term and must be considered in reserve design and implementation.Although some strategies can lesson the likelihood of catastrophes altering reserve success, declines in reserve performance due to catastrophic events are inevitable.This talk examines a number of approaches, including admitting defeat by buying ‘‘reserve insurance’’: a multiplier to calculate the additional reserve area necessary to ensure that functional goals of reserves will be met within a given ‘‘catastrophe regime.’’The characteristics of relatively well-studied disturbances from historical data will be analyzed to characterize catastrophe regimes within which reserves must function, and use these regimes to illustrate the application of the insurance factor.
Howard Ginsberg, Ecologist, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, and Unit Leader, Patuxent Coastal Field Station, University of Rhode Island
MANAGINGVECTOR-BORNE DISEASES SO AS TO MINIMIZE NEGATIVE EFFECTS ON NON-TARGET INVERTEBRATES
Numerous methods are available to control arthropod vectors of human diseases.The level of damage to populations of non-target species depends on the type of control method, environmental conditions, the method of application, and the accuracy of targeting the intervention. Efforts to control vector-borne diseases have historically conflicted with efforts to conserve invertebrates, but highly efficient management can support both efforts. Environmentally appropriate methods and efficient integration and targeting of management can benefit public health by minimizing the number of human cases per unit effort, and can simultaneously minimize non-target effects by avoiding relatively broadscale applications of nonspecific control agents. Highly efficient management requires knowledge of both vector ecology and pathogen transmission dynamics to develop accurate surveillance tools and well-targeted control methods, as well as theoretical advances on ways to efficiently integrate management techniques. Probabilistic models of pathogen transmission suggest that efficiencies of different management methods vary with initial vector abundance and pathogen prevalence.Therefore, management must be tailored to specific local conditions. The efficiencies of various techniques and of various combinations of techniques at lowering the number of human cases can be compared, and the most environmentally benign approach that protects public health can be applied.
David Grimaldi, Curator of Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History
Robert R. Dunn, Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Environmental Biology, Curtin University of Technology, Australia
400 MILLION YEARS ON SIX LEGS: THE EVOLUTIONARY SUCCESS OF INSECTS AND THEIR MODERN CHALLENGES
By virtually every measure, insects are the most successful group of animals in the 3.5 billion-year history of life on earth. They are among the earliest known land animals, the most species-rich lineage ever known, and are critical to terrestrial ecosystems as the primary phytophages, detritivores, and pollinators. Salient episodes of their fossil record are reviewed, which indicate resilience of insects to mass extinctions that affected many other groups of animals.The rich fauna of insects preserved in amber from the Miocene of the Dominican Republic, 20 million years ago, provides particular insight into the dynamics of insect extinctions. We also discuss modern extinctions of insects, difficulties in documenting them, factors affecting their survival and susceptibility, and prospects for the future.
Charles Hawkins, Director, Western Center for Monitoring and Assessment of Freshwater Ecosystems, Utah State University
MONITORING FRESHWATER INVERTEBRATES: IDENTIFYING PATTERNS OF BIODIVERSITY AND TAXA AT RISK BY MININGWATER RESOURCE AGENCY DATA
The vast majority of freshwater invertebrate monitoring in the United States is conducted by water quality agencies. These monitoring programs were designed to meet the biological monitoring requirements of the Clean Water Act and not to assess aquatic biodiversity per se.Therefore, unless more financial resources become available, biodiversity information must be extracted from data collected by these agencies—data that vary greatly in quality, scope, and method of collection. Fortunately, there are ways to mine this extensive collection of data to provide estimates of the general status of freshwater invertebrate faunas within a state or region. In these programs, two types of waterbodies are typically sampled: reference sites, which represent the least-disturbed waterbodies in a region, and non-reference sites, which have been altered to some degree by human activity. Analysis of reference site data can identify the location of intact biodiversity hotspots and the environmental factors associated with natural spatial patterns in biodiversity. Analysis of nonreference sites can identify certain taxa at risk and the types of landscapes most vulnerable to taxa loss.To carry out more extensive and comprehensive biodiversity analyses will require better data sharing among local, state, and federal programs and the implementation of more appropriate sampling designs.
Jeremy B.C. Jackson, William and Mary B. Ritter Professor of Oceanography, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego
HABITAT DESTRUCTION AND ECOLOGICAL EXTINCTION OF MARINE INVERTEBRATES
The oceans contain the greatest phyletic diversity on earth with approximately 35 phyla. Most invertebrate species are undescribed but the total is likely somewhere between 1 to 10 million. Whatever their number, the vast majority of marine invertebrate species live on the sea floor. Most of the 3-dimensional structure and habitat complexity that support this high benthic diversity is provided by a comparatively small number of invertebrate species and plants that grow large and form reefs, mats, and burrows.The number of species of these “ecosystem engineers” is probably no more than 5 to 10 thousand, but each of them provides the habitat for 100s to 1,000s of smaller associated species, many of which are habitat specific.We have no idea whether these associated species are decreasing or increasing, for lack of data. But there is little doubt about the fate of the ecosystem engineers that are disappearing due to trawling, fishing, mining, displacement by introduced species, pollution, and climate change.The sea floor is being flattened at a scale that resembles global clear cutting of old growth forests with the concomitant ecological extinction of the great majority of species.The only question barring a radical change in ocean policy is how few decades it will take for ecological extinction to become total extinction.
Peter G. Kevan, Professor, Departments of Environmental Biology and Botany, University of Guelph, Ontario
PESTICIDES AS THREATS TO BIODIVERSITY AND ECOSYSTEM FUNCTION
Pesticides comprise the biocidal weaponry aimed at pests.The notion “pest” is anthropocentric, but real. Pests are organisms that interfere with human environmental exploitation. Pesticides are abused and overused, but needed for modern living.As selective toxins, they kill some organisms at lower doses than they kill others.Thus, insecticides applied in agriculture, agroforestry, and forestry kill non-targets, such as pollinators.The consequences are reduced pollination, seed and fruit-set, food for birds and mammals, and plant reproduction. Insecticides also kill soil animals. Reduced soil porosity, nutrient cycling, carbon accumulation, and fertility ensue. Predators, insects and vertebrates, are also unfortunate victims and again environmental problems result. Biodiversity and ecosystem function are inextricably linked, stressed, and altered by pesticides, and may be eroded enough that major downward shifts result.
Roger Key, Senior Invertebrate Ecologist, Terrestrial Wildlife Team, English Nature
CONSERVATION OF INVERTEBRATES IN ENGLAND, USING BEETLES AS AN EXAMPLE— A PARTNERSHIP OF AGENCY, ACADEMIC, AND AMATEUR
There is a wealth of data on England’s beetles that has been collected by amateur coleopterists over two centuries.Those data are now being compiled so as to be useful for conservation work. 336 species of beetles are Red-Listed in Britain, out of a total fauna of about 4,200 species. Fifty-four are targeted for specific action under the “Biodiversity Action Plan,” our response to the Rio International Convention on Biodiversity. English Nature, the state conservation agency, is charged with implementing “species action plans” for most, so far with various degrees of success. We are now funding Ph.D. research on the conservation ecology of various plant-feeding beetles, and have contracted projects coordinating amateurs and professionals working on carabids and water beetles. Most of our beetle conservation work, however, concentrates on influencing the managers of protected areas to ensure that the areas are managed in an “invertebrate friendly”way.We concentrate on aiding insect dispersal, creating heterogeneity, and influencing microclimate and mainly monitor habitat features as a surrogate for all but the rarest species.
Richard King, Staff Biologist, Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, Wisconsin
KARNER BLUE BUTTERFLY HABITAT MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS AT NECEDAH NATIONALWILDLIFE REFUGE
Necedah National Wildlife Refuge contains the largest known populations of Karner blue butterflies. All of these populations except two occur on restored savannas that have been frequently burned over in the past four decades.When this species was listed as endangered, the Refuge was asked to revisit its prescribed burn operations as they were assumed to harm Karner blue butterflies—despite the fact that nearly all of the Refuge’s known populations occurred on frequently burned habitat. A literature review revealed that no peer-reviewed studies measuring the effects of prescribed burning on adult Karner blue butterflies existed.The Refuge developed a study that incorporated controls and replicates to determine the effects of prescribed burning on the highly mobile Karner blue butterfly.Two years of pretreatment and three years of post treatment monitoring revealed that adult Karner blue butterflies were unaffected by the prescribed burns. These results can be explained by the following: 1) prescribed fire does not cause Karner blue butterfly mortality, or 2) adult colonization of burned sites compensates for mortality.
Claire Kremen, Assistant Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University
THE IMPORTANCE OF INVERTEBRATE BIODIVERSITY
Invertebrates represent the majority of animal diversity and conduct many critical ecological functions, including pollination, decomposition, herbivory, seed dispersal, predation, water filtration and, “ecosystem engineering.” This talk explores the importance and value of invertebrates for ecosystem functioning, for ecosystem goods and services critical to humanity, and for their utility in conservation planning to protect global biodiversity.
Lawrence L. Master, Chief Zoologist, NatureServe
KEEPING TABS ON THE LITTLE THINGS THAT RUN THEWORLD: INFORMATION MANAGEMENT FOR THE CONSERVATION OF INVERTEBRATES
In order to practice on-the-ground conservation, it is necessary to know what species are at risk of extinction, where precisely they are located, what factors threaten their existence, and what their habitat and other requirements are. For the past 30 years, The Nature Conservancy and now NatureServe in collaboration with a network of state, provincial, and country natural heritage programs and conservation data centers in the Western Hemisphere have worked to develop this information and inform the conservation of at-risk species. In contrast to vertebrate and vascular plant taxa, only a small percentage of invertebrate taxa are sufficiently well known to be effectively targeted for conservation information development, but more than 14,000 North American invertebrate taxa are now tracked in NatureServe’s databases. Growing numbers of amateur and professional biologists are developing information on the status and distribution of these species, particularly those thought to be at some risk of extinction. As a result of these efforts and the centralization and dissemination of key information, conservation organizations and government agencies are increasingly devoting resources to the conservation of invertebrates.
Scott E. Miller, Senior Biodiversity Advisor to the Director, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution
Jonathan A. Coddington, Research Entomologist, Department of Systematic Biology, Smithsonian Institution
A NEW CENTURY DAWNS ON INVERTEBRATE SURVEYS: LESSONS FROM 20 YEARS OF TERRESTRIAL INVERTEBRATE SURVEYS
The huge diversity of terrestrial invertebrates is both a challenge and an opportunity.Well designed invertebrate surveys can be cost-effective sources of novel information, but poorly designed surveys can be rapidly overwhelmed by huge quantities of very sparse data whose interpretation is ambiguous. The two main problems with invertebrate surveys are the diversity of the fauna in the field and the taxonomic impediment in the lab. Surveys usually fail in the field because the focal taxon is too diverse, sampling methods are too few, or sampling intensity is too low. Successful inventories of tropical diverse faunas are few. The ‘modal’ survey is still a faunal list. Most surveys do not sample enough to be meaningful, but some surveys based on common species can be successful. Due to the advent of speciesrichness estimators, the role of and explanation for rare species (singletons) is receiving careful attention. Perhaps the worst consequence of undersampling bias is that it cannot be distinguished from interesting biological signal, e.g. endemism, habitat specificity, or phenology. In most cases, well-designed surveys of terrestrial invertebrates do not damage populations, although some invertebrate populations need to be treated with special care. The ‘taxonomic impediment’ is serious, but can be overcome.The existing taxonomic framework is fairly robust at the family and genus level. Some taxa are even reasonably well known at the species level, although the information can be hard to find. Quality of identifications is important and ‘morphospecies’ can mean many things. Efficient and accurate protocols for processing material are vital—parataxonomists and bioinformatics tools can help, but quality control remains important.
Paula M. Mikkelsen, Assistant Curator, Division of Invertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History
Rudiger Bieler, Associate Curator, Department of Zoology, Field Museum
EFFECTIVE INVENTORY OF CRYPTIC MARINE INVERTEBRATES: RAP VERSUS TAP
The application of Rapid Assessment Protocols (RAP) and Thorough Assessment Protocols (TAP) to inventories of cryptic marine invertebrates is discussed in context of a 10-year survey of marine mollusks in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS). Original sampling employed a wide variety of methods (e.g., rock washing, scuba, bottom grabs deployed from research vessels) in a similarly wide variety of habitats (e.g., intertidal rocks, sand flats, seagrass beds, coral reefs, mangroves, offshore sediments to 215 m). A baseline was established for bivalve mollusks by combining original collection data with those from museum specimens and a detailed survey of verifiable published/ gray literature. Analysis of the resulting 12,000-record database shows actual species richness underestimated by 250% over the FKNMS inventory (1995), and also reveals faunal relationships along length/breadth of the island chain. Species accumulation curves show consistent “spikes” when new methods or habitats/areas are added, validating the use of TAP in such a setting. RAP methods applied to selected sites within FKNMS illustrate substantial shortfalls in recovering TAP-expected taxa, especially when limited to live-collected specimens.The importance of TAP (including physical samples, live/dead shells, literature/ museum data, and trained systematists to process samples) in researching a large often-sampled area is emphasized despite the added resources required.
Piotr Naskrecki, Director, Invertebrate Diversity Initiative, Conservation International
ADDRESSING THE NEEDS FOR IDENTIFICATION OF INVERTEBRATES IN CONSERVATION PRACTICES
The taxonomic impediment in invertebrate biology is one of the major stumbling blocks in a wider use of these organisms in conservation practices. Very frequently, invertebrates are not included in conservation decision-making because of the lack of resources to survey and identify them. However, recent developments in information technologies make it possible to simplify the process of species identification and provide tools for training of a new cadre of taxonomists. Global, comprehensive databases that address taxonomists’ needs for free access to primary literature and type information are the prerequisite of a more efficient and inexpensive identification of invertebrate species. Online availability of type information can reduce the time necessary to identify new faunas by 50%-90%, and the cost to almost zero. An initial investment and a wide participation of major natural history collections is necessary for a success of this approach, but examples of a few major institution who adopted it show its great potential in reducing the taxonomic impediment.
Tim New, Reader/Associate Professor, Department of Zoology, La Trobe University, Australia
TOWARDS A CONSERVATION AGENDA FOR TERRESTRIAL INVERTEBRATES
The current state of terrestrial invertebrate conservation interest and practice is summarised, and the twin approaches of focusing on single species as targets and of using these and assemblages as tools in wider conservation assessment appraised as strategies for the future. Problems and opportunities for conservation that arise from the massive diversity of terrestrial invertebrates are addressed, including the need for conservation over vast areas of the world where such activities have very low local priority and where communication of the value of invertebrates must be pragmatic. The value of adopting ecologically complementary suites of flagship taxa, and of ecologically informative focal groups to facilitate such communication, have potential to overcome some of the conceptual barriers between land managers and conservationists. Landscapelevel management, particularly involving agroecosystem management, is a critical theme in working toward holistic management for wellbeing of both primary production systems and wider invertebrate biodiversity in terrestrial and riparian environments.
Laura Noguchi, Biologist, International Affairs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Anne St. John, Biologist, Division of Management Authority for CITES, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
AN OVERVIEW OF U.S. INVERTEBRATE TRADE DATA
Although many invertebrate taxa are traded in significant numbers, much of the global trade is unregulated and unreported because relatively few invertebrate species are protected by national laws or international treaties. The United States is unique in collecting information on wildlife shipments entering and exiting the country, regardless of whether the species involved are protected.With some exceptions, shipments of wildlife being imported to or exported from the United States must be declared and are subject to physical inspection by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.We will present an overview of recent U.S. trade in invertebrates.These data are grouped into the following categories: annelids, arachnids, corals, crustaceans, echinoderms, insects, mollusks, and ‘other invertebrates.’ Detailed information is collected on taxa covered by various wildlife protection laws (including the Endangered Species Act and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora [CITES]) and certain species of special concern. Data on non-protected species, while broader, nonetheless provide important information on the scope and trends of international trade.
John C. Ogden, Director, Florida Institute of Oceanography, and Professor of Biology, University of South Florida
Elliott A. Norse, President, Marine Conservation Biology Institute
LINES ON THE WATER: OCEAN USE PLANNING AND ZONING
Almost 30% of U.S. land area is federally owned and under some form of management. In the oceans, only fractions of a percent of our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), in total approximately 120% of the land area is under comparable management in spite of manifest human disturbances including over-fishing, pollution, global climate change, and increasingly contentious user conflicts.The failure of fisheries management policy has created an intense interest in marine protected areas, but over more than a decade we have made little progress.We need a more comprehensive framework for scientific input to management and conservation. Ocean use planning recognizes that we must use the oceans, but we can’t afford to use them up. It broadens the stakeholders from fishers to society as a whole. There is sufficient data and information encompassing the EEZ to begin a decade-long national planning process.There are excellent examples of ocean use planning schemes that work, such as the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, and the Meso-American Coral Reef, to name a few.As recommended by the Commission on Ocean Policy, ocean use planning may be implemented within defined ecoregions merging state waters (shoreline to 3 nautical miles) with federal waters (3 to 200 nm). A proposed National Ocean Council may resolve state-federal conflicts and overlapping agency mandates.
Michael Ruggiero, Director, Integrated Taxonomic Information System, U.S. Geological Survey, Smithsonian Institution
BIOINFORMATICS AND INVERTEBRATE MONITORING:APPLICATIONS OF THE NATIONAL BIOLOGICAL INFORMATION INFRASTRUCTURE (NBII)
Monitoring of invertebrates and other animal populations requires four major categories of standards for useful exchange and aggregation of data: taxonomic, collecting, design, and information management.Taxonomic standards are critical in identifying the organisms of study and in naming, referencing, cataloging, and archiving specimens. Collecting and design standards provide guidance on the appropriate methodologies for acquiring, enumerating, and analyzing organisms and data. Information management standards allow exchange of data between and among studies, institutions, and networks with necessary documentation and interoperability. Consistent application of these standards will allow the data from single studies to be aggregated at different scales.Various examples are given to demonstrate how the federated databases of the NBII can be used as resources for applying taxonomic and information management standards to invertebrate monitoring data. Additional examples are given to demonstrate the application of aggregated NBII data.
Michael Samways, Professor and Chair, Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
LANDSCAPE TRIAGE: STRATEGIES FOR MANAGING INVERTEBRATES
Estimates are that many tens of thousands of invertebrates may go extinct over the next few decades.The pressures and impacts upon them are vast and multifaceted. Some of these impacts are local and others global, with many synergisms between.These interacting impacts make predictions of outcomes uncertain.This means that we must adopt a precautionary management approach, and be selective in what we do with limited human and financial resources. Underpinning this, we must be clear on our conservation goals and their ethical foundation.This leads us to consider not just “where” we do good conservation management (i.e. prioritization), but also “how” (i.e. triage). Management principles from research in recent years are emerging that may enable us to slow the impending “Great Biodiversity Crisis.”These management approaches give ecological flexibility yet maintain evolutionary potential. At least in this way we are giving invertebrates and other biodiversity the best chance of pulling through the demographic winter of the Homogenocene.
Mary Seddon, Section Head, Department of Biodiversity and Systematic Biology, National Museums and Galleries of Wales
IUCN RED LIST APPROACHES AND CRITERIA FOR INVERTEBRATES
The IUCN Red List of Globally Threatened species has changed in the last fifteen years. Originally species were listed based on a qualitative assessment of threat to the species. In 1994, a standardised way of measuring the likelihood of extinction was implemented using quantative thresholds of either population decline, range decline or small population size. Since the introduction of these quantitative criteria, any new species added to the list needs to be documented, showing that it meets the thresholds for the IUCN criteria and give a justification for the listing. The data has to be independently verified by other experts, who agree that it is a valid species, and that the data on distribution and status is accurate (to the best of the available knowledge). This open system of listing means that anyone who has data on a species can look at the basis for listing and submit their information to the Red List Office, who will then ensure that the species is reassessed. In the rare event that there is an unresolved dispute, a further committee handles the review of these cases.
The IUCN Red list is becoming recognised as one of the ways in which we could examine and report on the changing status of biodiversity. In order to use the Red List in this way, all taxon in a group need to be evaluated, not just those that are threatened species. At present only the birds and the mammals are fully evaluated. This is the challenge for the invertebrate specialists, as most of invertebrates that are currently listed on the Red List are recognised as threatened species, with no information on those which are of ”Least Concern”. There is also a taxon bias in the current listings, as of the 3382 invertebrates listed in 2003, 1959 are considered threatened and nearly 50% of these are Mollusks, reflecting the documenting efforts of the Specialist Group, not a higher degree of threat to this group.
For invertebrate listing we need to make the most of the limited data-sets, using proxy data for range decline, extrapolating trends from the few data points on range changes to establish the rates of decline over the assessment period and adopting a consistant approach to the interpretation of limited data-sets and most of all being prepared to document species based on limited data.
In the East African project to evaluate all freshwater Mollusca the assessment group included a specialist from each country evaluated the status of their species. We found that the main challenges were getting an agreed taxonomic list to work from, then dealing with poor distributional data, establishing a common approach to using the criteria and interpreting the limited threat data and using the distributional data-set as proxy data to get a global assessment. In the project we found that nearly 23% of the species in the region were initially classified as Threatened. These are now under review before final listing.
The other major challenge will be documenting the existing species, as many of the listings which were undertaken before the documentation rule was in place will drop to Data Deficient in 2006 under the requirements to review the status every 10 years. Although the data is often there, the time to complete the process of documentation exceeds the capacity of the small volunteer network and the lack of recognition of value of the task compared with preparing a research publication means that it is difficult to motivate researchers to participate in the process.
George E. Schuler, Director, Upper Delaware Program (NY), The Nature Conservancy
SINK OR SWIM: THE CHALLENGES OF CONSERVING FRESHWATER INVERTEBRATES IN AWORLD OF REGULATED RIVERS
Natural disturbances such as floods and droughts are integral parts of intact ecosystems. They play a significant role in determining the abundance and diversity of organisms across a range of spatial and temporal scales. In rivers and streams, the natural hydrologic regime, the magnitude, duration, frequency, timing, and rate of change of such disturbances defines patterns of freshwater biodiversity. Many freshwater invertebrates have habitat requirements and life history stages closely linked to the timing and patterns of the natural flow regime. Conservation practitioners and natural resource managers are faced with difficult choices in the current era of "ecosystem management," often having to balance the conservation needs of managing for many species against the requirements of an individual, and in some cases, endangered or imperiled species. In a world of regulated rivers with altered flow regimes, conservation often focuses on the impacts of the elimination of extreme events (floods and droughts) and overlooks those of the stabilization of the natural disturbance regime also resulting from such alterations. Examples from the Neversink River in New York and Green River in Kentucky, illustrate challenges faced by conservationists in places where human alterations of the natural flow regime negatively impact the ability of freshwater invertebrates to complete their life histories. The examples also highlight instances where alterations by human uses have moderated the natural hydrologic regime, reduced natural disturbances, to the advantage of one species and the detriment of others.
Cheryl Schultz, Assistant Professor, School of Biological Sciences, Washington State University
THE ROLE OF FIRE IN MANAGING HABITAT FOR AT-RISK INVERTEBRATES
Fire is a popular but controversial tool used to manage habitat for at-risk terrestrial invertebrates. Many rare invertebrates live in early-successional habitats that were historically maintained by fire. Many suggest that the absence of fire is responsible for accumulation of thatch, invasion by non-native species, and succession to woody habitat. Unfortunately, invasion by non-native species may have altered ecological processes such that historic disturbance regimes no longer maintain habitat for at-risk invertebrates. The role of fire in managing at-risk ecosystems from the perspective of rare invertebrates is reviewed, focusing on issues that managers can influence, such as timing of fire, frequency of fire, and portion of the habitat that is burned. The questions are asked, what kinds of data do we need to make conclusions about the effects of fire (e.g. the number of years of post-burn data, the direct effects of fire on sessile lifestages, and dispersal behavior of mobile lifestages), drawing on experimental investigations with the Fender’s blue butterfly (Icaricia icarioides fenderi), an endangered butterfly in Oregon. In addition, the use of alternative management strategies is reviewed, such as mowing and grazing.
Jack A. Sobel, Director, Strategic Conservation Science and Policy, The Ocean Conservancy
PROTECTING MARINE INVERTEBRATES AND BUILDING OCEANIC ARKS (MARINE RESERVES) > MAXIMIZING YIELD SUSTAINING USE
Commercial and recreational extraction of ocean life, including fishing activities, severely alter, destroy, and threaten the continued survival of marine invertebrate species, communities, and the ecosystems on which they depend and support. Even artisanal, indigenous, and scientific taking and collecting can have significant impacts. Overfishing, habitat destruction, bycatch, ecosystem alteration, and synergies with other impacts and disturbances are among the principal threats to invertebrates from such extractive activities. Severe, serial overfishing of abalone species along North America’s Pacific Coast illustrates this impact to vulnerable species well. Historic North Atlantic trawl and dredge fisheries and more recently developed deepwater trawl fisheries targeting seamounts represent gear damage to fragile habitats.The Gulf of Mexico shrimp trawl fishery documents bycatch impact. Coral reef and kelp system degradation globally; related ecological changes; and the high impact of even single species removal reveal cascading and synergistic effects. Successfully addressing threats from fishing and protecting marine invertebrates, invertebrate communities, and the ecosystems with which they interact and on which they are interdependent will require more than eliminating “overfishing” and achieving “sustained/sustainable use.” More effective ecosystem-based management, a full range of marine protected areas, and larger and more representative no-take marine reserve networks will also be required.
Sacha Spector, Manager, Invertebrate Conservation Program, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History
ARE INVERTEBRATE FOCAL TAXA FULFILLING THEIR PROMISE?
Pervasive scarcities of data on the distribution, taxonomy, and population status of invertebrates have seriously impeded the inclusion of invertebrate diversity in the conservation process. For nearly two decades, the development of invertebrate focal taxa has been suggested as a means to pry conservation-relevant information out of this hyper-diverse, poorly known invertebrate realm. A review of our progress toward establishing such focal taxa reveals decidedly mixed success.While there have been hundreds of studies debating the criteria for selecting focal taxa and detailing the effects of anthropogenic disturbances and ecological changes on dozens of different invertebrate taxa, they have resulted in a fragmented and often incomparable dataset. As a result, virtually none of the many proposed invertebrate focal taxa have been universally embraced, though a slate of promising candidates has been identified. However, we have developed a clearer understanding of the informational, methodological, and taxonomic infrastructure needed to support fully functioning focal taxa, and the coordinated effort necessary to produce it. Information technologies that are continually improving, together with more focused efforts by collaborative networks of taxonomists, ecologists, and conservation biologists has the potential to rapidly develop a suite of invertebrate focal taxa with utility in a variety of conservation contexts.
David Strayer, Freshwater Ecologist, Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, NY
OVERVIEW AND STATUS OF FRESHWATER INVERTEBRATES
The earth’s fresh waters contain more than 70,000 described species of invertebrates, and tens of thousands of species remain to be discovered and described by scientists. This diversity is not spread evenly over the surface of the globe, but is concentrated in hot spots, usually geologically ancient lakes, streams, or ground waters, which contain dozens to hundreds of species of invertebrates that are found nowhere else. Because fresh waters are such an important resource for people, and have been used intensively for water supply, power, irrigation, fisheries, navigation, waste disposal, and as sites for cities, environmental conditions in many of the world’s fresh waters have been altered greatly from their original states. Habitat degradation, pollution, invasions of alien species, global climate change, and harvest all pose important threats to freshwater invertebrates. Especially where hot spots of diversity coincide with areas of intensive human development, many freshwater invertebrates have disappeared from their native habitats. Some invertebrate species already have become extinct, and thousands of others are in danger of disappearing from the earth. Careful management of fresh waters, especially in areas of high biological diversity, is needed to prevent catastrophic extinctions of freshwater invertebrates in the future.