Beetles, the most diverse group of insects, are often abundant in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. Many species are under threat from human changes to natural environments, and some are valuable tools in conservation, because they respond rapidly to changes that occur. Knowledge of these responses, of both abundance and composition of assemblages, enable use of some beetles to monitor environmental changes. Beetles impinge on humanity in many ways: as cultural objects, desirable collectables, major pests and competitors for resources need by people, as beneficial consumers of other pests, and by ensuring the continuity of vital ecological processes.
This book is the first major global overview of the importance of conservation of beetles, and brings together much hitherto scattered information to demonstrate the needs for conservation, and how it may be approached. It is a source of value to students, research workers, conservation biologists and ecosystem managers as an introduction to the richness and importance of this predominant component of invertebrate life.
Preface. Acknowledgements. Chapter 1. Introduction. Beetles and conservation. Beetle extinctions and extirpations. Beetle diversity. Beetle recognition and identification. Sampling and surveying beetles for conservation. Studying rare species. Evaluating conservation status and significance. Chapter 2. Practical conservation: basic approaches and considerations. Species importance. Planning for species conservation. The units. The process. Population structure and beetle dispersal. Beetle assemblages for conservation. Chapter 3. Threats to beetles: the role of habitat. Habitats. Habitats and resources in the landscape. Habitat gradients for beetles. Islands and island habitats. Islands. Island habitats, place: Cave beetles. Island habitats, species: Beetles with ants and termites. Remnant habitat values: brownfield sites. Chapter 4. Collecting and over-collecting. Commercial collecting. Bycatch and collector responsibility. Chapter 5. Alien species. Effects and interactions with native beetles and other organisms. Alien beetles as vectors. Chapter 6. Pollution and climate change. Pollution. Climate change. Chapter 7. Components of beetle species conservation: ex situ conservation. Ex situ conservation. New populations. Salvage or rescue operations. Releases. Chapter 8. Threats or management: the conservation manager's dilemma. Fire. Manipulating beetle populations. Habitat restoration. Chapter 9. Conservation lessons from beetles. The water beetles. The ground beetles and tiger beetles. The dung beetles. The stag beetles. The jewel beetles. The ladybirds. The longhorn beetles. Chapter 10. Concluding thoughts. References. Index.
Tim New is Emeritus Professor in Zoology at La Trobe University , Melbourne. His entomological interests include many aspects of systematics, ecology and conservation, and he is acknowledged as one of the leading advocates for insect conservation. He has published widely in this field, and has travelled widely to look at insects and talk about them in many parts of the world.
This scholarly work brings together in a single volume information derived from a selection of widely scattered studies, making it valuable to advanced students and researchers in several disciplines, notably entomology, conservation biology, invertebrate ecology, and wildlife management. Practicing professionals entrusted with the conservation of fragile natural resources will also find much to interest them here. (CHOICE, December 2010)