MAIISG Newsletter July 2019

Quinta, 25 de Julho de 2019

Hope everyone is well, I expect that many of you currently very busy with projects and fieldwork, and MAIISG wishes you every success. In this newsletter we have articles on: mollusc inventories in Madeira, a key new cloud forest management plan for St Helena that will see benefits for 100s of endemic invertebrates, as well a poem that was written by Helen James on the plastic plight of remote beach in the Tristan and Gough islands.

Brief news

Red listing has been continuing for St Helena and the Azores, with numerous listings to be completed this year; and red listing is starting on Ascension Island as well as Sao Tome & Principe. The Canaries’ butterfly monitoring scheme run by Asociación ZERYNTHIA continues to be a great success and recently made it onto the Canary TV news. This regional TV news available throughout the whole of the Canarian archipelago program. You can watch it here

Clips are at 3.17-3.33 min and 25.55-27.30 min


Threatened terrestrial mollusc inventories and monitoring in Madeira

By Dinarte Teixeira

The Institute of Forests and Nature Conservation of Madeira (IFCN, IP-RAM) since January 2018 has been running a terrestrial molluscs and vascular plants monitoring program for 18 sites of the Natura 2000 Network of the Autonomous Region of Madeira. For terrestrial gastropods this has meant establishing an extensive inventory of ‘areas of conservation importance’ based on pre-defined sampling protocol. This has allowed the evaluation of 10 Special Areas for Conservation (SAC) and 7 sites of Community Importance (SICs) scattered throughout the islands of Madeira, Desertas and Porto Santo, including its six islets. More than 82 sampling sites were prospected, and 162 species of terrestrial molluscs have been inventoried. For terrestrial mollusc species listed in Annexes II and IV of Habitats Directive, a specific prospecting scheme was also implemented based on the potential distribution areas identified in Teixeira (2006). In order to try to locate new populations of the species in question, particularly for the six (Leiostyla cassida, L. abbreviata, L. gibba, L. corneocostata, L. lamellosa and Atlantica gueriniana) whose last record is more than 150 years old. In parallel a specific monitoring program is underway for the remaining 11 terrestrial gastropod species currently listed in Annexes II and IV of the Habitats Directive, to evaluate the long-term population trends of these taxa in selected habitats. After this evaluation, action plans will be drawn for the evaluated species, and effective evaluation of their conservation status will be made based on IUCN criteria.


Integration of endemic invertebrate conservation into the new Cloud Forest Management Plan on St Helena

A workshop and consultation process have been conducted to write a new Cloud Forest Management Plan for St Helena. The St Helenian cloud forests are home to 100s of endemic invertebrates and is one of the most important invertebrate habitats on the island, including a high numbers of endemic weevil species. The engagement of MAIISG members, including the invertebrate staff of the St Helena National Trust, has seen important expertise integrated. Including key actions from the St Helena Invertebrate Strategy, such as: - Identification, distribution and ecology of invertebrate assemblage, particularly phytophagous invertebrates, arachnids and ‘flagship’ species. - Establishing habitat management protocols for endemic invertebrate assemblages This plan will see vitally important invertebrate habitat protected and improved to benefit the island’s globally important invertebrate fauna.


New research on the jumping plant-lice (Hemiptera: Psylloidea) of Madeira Archipelago and Selvagens Islands

By Antonio Franquinho Aguiar, Delia Cravo, Dalva Luiz de Queiroz & Daniel Burckhardt

The fauna of the jumping plant lice Psylloidea have been recently researched and records updated in the Madeira Archipelago and Selvagens Islands. This has resulted in four new records: Acizzia uncatoides, Cacopsylla fulguralis, Ctenarytaina spatulata and Platycorypha nigrivirga, added to the islands’ species list. The list of psyllids known from these islands now comprises 21 species. With two species of psyllids are cited for the first time from Selvagens Islands. Natural enemies associated with psyllids were also recorded and were cited as new records for Madeira, namely the anthocorid bug Anthocoris nemoralis and the encyrtid parasitoid wasp Psyllaephagus pilosus. This paper is not directly available online but if you email the author Antonio; who is a member of the group he will send you a private copy or it is available on researchgate. Two of the new psyllids are photographed below, Acizzia uncatoides and Ctenarytaina spatulate.


A poem for Inaccessible Island

By Helen Barber-James, November 1989

A lonely beach, so far away Even to here does our litter stray Plastic slip-slops, plastic buoys, Plastic trays and plastic toys …. How can nature ever cope With tangled coils of nylon rope? Cool-drink cans, shampoo, still bottled This pristine beach with litter mottled Ugly debris is beauty marring, Every nerve in my body jarring. Many nations represented there Tins from South America, buoys from the East Even voracious Skuas cannot on this feast Can you believe that from so far, Man can still cause such a scar? It’s up to us to make this end And give our planet a chance to mend. This poem was written by Helen while studying the freshwater invertebrates as part of a three-week multidisciplinary survey of Inaccessible Island (South Atlantic Ocean, part of the Tristan da Cunha island group) during in 1989. Helen was surprised by how much trash there was on the remote beach and was inspired to write the poem. Helen said ‘At that time, ships were directly dumping all trash into the ocean, which also appalled her. Thirty years later, the world is suddenly waking up. I wonder what that beach is like now. Let's hope that in another thirty years, the effects of the current anti-plastic paradigm shift will be manifest, and our poor oceans have started to clear of their plastic burden.’



Did you know?

How many endemic species of arthropods are in Azores?

There are about 250 arthropod species and subespecies endemic to Azores. See also 

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