Invertebrates and threatened species legislation
Invertebrates dominate both terrestrial and aquatic environments in terms of their diversity, yet few have been listed as threatened. Does this really mean that few species are threatened, or is it more likely that we just do not know enough about invertebrate populations? Realistically, given the slow acquisition of knowledge of invertebrates in Australia, it is argued that listing of invertebrates is suitable only for “iconic” species in order to raise community awareness. A more effective avenue is the conservation of habitats or communities for invertebrates as well as the implementation of legislation to identify and tackle key threatening processes. Until both the public and scientific community become aware of the importance of invertebrates in ecosystem functioning, there will be little pressure on conservation agencies to conserve invertebrates.