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Title: Protecting the small majority: insect conservation in Australia and New Zealand
Contributor(s): Holwell, Greg I (author); Andrew, Nigel R  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2015
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Abstract: Insects represent the largest component of Australasia's animal diversity. While the uniqueness and conservation needs of Australia and New Zealand's vertebrates are generally understood, the importance of our insects and the threats they face are less appreciated. Some groups, including locally endemic butterflies and flightless giants, such as giant weta, are important for raising public awareness of insect conservation. However, our understanding of how broad processes influence insect populations and communities is in its infancy. Part of the issue is due to a complete lack of knowledge of the biology of the vast majority of insect species, as most insects in Australasia remain undescribed. In this chapter we discuss insect biodiversity in Australia and New Zealand and discuss both insect species and diversity conservation, contrasting patterns in Australia and New Zealand. We then discuss some of the major threats facing insect species and diversity, specifically focussing on the impacts of habitat loss and fragmentation, predation by invasive rodents and climate change. Lastly, we discuss interactions between insects and humans including the provision of ecosystem services by insects in an agricultural context, human consumption of insects (entomophagy) and concerns surrounding the lack of taxonomic expertise for insects in Australasia.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Austral Ark: The State of Wildlife in Australia and New Zealand, p. 278-297
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Place of Publication: Cambridge, United Kingdom
ISBN: 9781107033542
Field of Research (FOR): 060208 Terrestrial Ecology
060808 Invertebrate Biology
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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