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Conservation of Terrestrial Invertebrates and Their Habitats in Brazil

Thomas M. Lewinsohn, André Victor Lucci Freitas and Paulo Inácio Prado
Conservation Biology
Vol. 19, No. 3 (Jun., 2005), pp. 640-645
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3591048
Page Count: 6
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Conservation of Terrestrial Invertebrates and Their Habitats in Brazil
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Abstract

As one of the world's prime megadiverse countries, Brazil holds an immense number of terrestrial invertebrates. Current knowledge of this biota is very heterogeneous. Several taxa are sufficiently well known to be used as indicators of ecological integrity or of endemism. The current Brazilian national and regional red lists include 130 terrestrial invertebrate species, of which 42% are butterflies. These lists are contingent on available knowledge, and many taxa that are omitted certainly include species at risk. Knowledge of various biomes and habitats is also quite irregular, with the Caatinga and Pantanal in need of more study, compared with the Atlantic Forest, the Amazon, and Cerrado. Canopy, host-associated, and soil faunas also need further intensive study. Invertebrate conservation will be promoted more effectively by habitat preservation and management rather than single-species initiatives. To this end, better geographic surveys of entire taxonomic or functional assemblages are needed. An improved understanding of the invertebrate role in ecosystem processes will strengthen enormously the case for their conservation.

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