Species

BackScoparia carvalhoi Nuss, Karsholt & Meyer, 1997

Scoparia carvalhoi Nuss, Karsholt & Meyer, 1997

Moth (English); Traça (Portuguese)

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Lepidoptera
  • Family: Crambidae
VU Vulnerable
IUCN Red List Status:

Countries of Occurrence:
Portugal - Azores

Archipelago(s):
Azores

Reviewer/s:
Danielczak, A.

Contributor/s:
Nunes, R. & Lamelas-Lopez, L.

Facilitators / Compilers/s:


Assessment Rationale:

Scoparia carvalhoi is an endemic species present in the islands of Faial, Pico, Terceira and Santa Maria (Azores, Portugal) (Nuss et al. 1997, Borges et al. 2010), known from native forest. It has a relatively large extent of occurrence (EOO = 14,320 km²) and a small area of occupancy (AOO = 44 km²). The species is abundant and  known from at least six fragmented subpopulations. In the past, the species has probably strongly declined due to changes in habitat size and quality. The main threat to this species will be the habitat decline as a consequence of invasive species and climate change (Ferreira et al. 2016). Based upon the small area of occupancy, decreasing quality of the habitat and low number of subpopulations it is assessed as Vulnerable.

Geographic Range:

Scoparia carvalhoi is an endemic species present in the islands of Faial, Pico, Terceira and Santa Maria (Azores, Portugal) (Nuss et al. 1997, Borges et al. 2010), known from native forest. Within these four islands it is known from two Natural Forest Reserves of Caldeira do Faial (Faial) and Pico Alto (S. Maria). The extent of occurrence (EOO) is 14,320 km² and the maximum estimated area of occupancy (AOO) is 44 km².

Regions:
Portugal - Azores
Extent of Occurrence (EOO):
14320 (km2)
Area of Occupancy (AOO):
44 (km2)
Elevation Lower Limit:
100 (m)
Elevation Upper Limit:
700 (m)
Biogeographic Realms:
Palearctic
Presence:
Extant
Origin:
Endemic Azores
Seasonality:
Resident

Population:

Scoparia carvalhoi is restricted but relatively abundant in some of the locations with native forest. We assume a stable population, but with the tendency to decline in the number of individuals that is inferred from the ongoing habitat degradation due to invasions of alien plants and from human activities.

Habitat and Ecology

The species occurs in native forests of medium to high altitude in the Faial, Pico, Terceira and Santa Maria islands (Azores). Larvae are herbivores; the moth flies in June and July (Nuss et al. 1997), with one or two broods per year. Altitudinal range: 100-700 m.

Major Threat(s):

In the past, the species has probably strongly declined due to changes in habitat size and quality, mostly the creation of pastures (Triantis et al. 2010). Currently invasive plants Pittosporum undulatum and Hedychium gardnerianum are changing some of the areas and decreasing the quality of the habitat. These changes are decreasing the relative cover of endemic plants and changing the soil cover (decreasing the cover of bryophytes and ferns). Based on Ferreira et al. (2016) the habitat will further decline as a consequence of climate change (increasing number of droughts and  habitat shifting & alteration).

Conservation Actions

The species is not protected by regional law. Its habitat is in regionally protected areas (Natural Parks of Faial, Pico, Terceira and Sta. Maria). Degraded habitats should be restored and a strategy needs to be developed to address the future threat by climate change. Further research is needed into its ecology and life history in order to find extant specimens. It is necessary to create a monitoring plan for the invertebrate community in the habitat in order to contribute to the conservation of this species. A habitat management plan is needed and anticipated to be developed during the coming years. Monitoring every ten years using the BALA protocol will inform about habitat quality (see e.g. Gaspar et al. 2010).