Conservation status of Lepidoptera: assessment, threatening processes and recovery actions
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Don P. A. Sands, 1999. "Conservation status of Lepidoptera: assessment, threatening processes and recovery actions", The Other 99%: The Conservation and Biodiversity of Invertebrates, Winston Ponder, Daniel Lunney
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The conservation of diurnal Lepidoptera, mostly butterflies, has recently received attention in Australia since several species are threatened with extinction and declines in abundance. Threatening processes include habitat loss and contraction, weed invasions, changed fire regimes, pesticides, grazing by stock and disrupted corridors. Policies for conserving Lepidoptera in Australia often focus on the rarity and distribution of species rather than the threatening processes. Protection of ecological communities supporting threatened species is a priority but constraints apply when the land is owned by councils, is privately-owned or are roadside remnants. Listing and requirement for permits to collect may restrict contributions by amateurs to the biology, range extensions and taxonomy of threatened taxa. Recovery actions must include an assessment of the current distribution and identify threatening processes. Community groups can participate in recovery actions by managing habitat remnants, replanting reserves, schools and gardens. Awareness through the media and schools is a powerful strategy if flagship species are promoted as a means of conserving threatened taxa.