Endangered Invertebrates: The Case for Greater Attention to Invertebrate Conservation
Scott Hoffman Black
The Xerces Society, 4828 Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard, Portland, OR 97215-3252; firstname.lastname@example.org
The Xerces Society, 4828 Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard, Portland, OR 97215-3252; email@example.com
Melody Mackey Allen
The Xerces Society, 4828 Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard, Portland, OR 97215-3252; firstname.lastname@example.org
Invertebrates eclipse all other forms of life on Earth, not only in sheer numbers, diversity, and biomass, but also in their importance to functioning ecosystems. Invertebrates perform vital services such as pollination, seed dispersal, and nutrient recycling. Although invertebrates are vitally important, they are often overlooked in management decisions, especially in management for endangered species. One indicator of the low emphasis on invertebrates is the lack of invertebrates included in both worldwide and U.S. endangered species programs. A review of current U.S. Endangered Species Act listings and policies show that this endangered species program is biased toward vertebrates. We believe there is compelling evidence that agencies, scientists, conservationists, and land managers should do more to promote the conservation of imperiled invertebrates. We briefly outline the steps that need to be taken to protect invertebrates and detail
butterfly farming and a pollinator protection campaign as two possible ways to protect and restore invertebrate diversity and habitat.