Picanço, A., Rigal, F. & Borges, P.A.V. (2017) Area prioritization for insect pollinator communities on an oceanic island. Arquipélago Life and Marine Sciences, 34, 85-104.
Conservation studies usually assess the effectiveness of protected areas and draft proposals on the inclusion of new areas to gain legal protection status, paying little attention to the unprotected surrounding matrix of the respective protected areas network. By combining species distribution modelling and a site selection method, we aim to quantify the contribution of different land uses to insect pollinator conservation on a small oceanic island i.e. Terceira Island (Azores Portugal). Our results showed that, in addition to well preserved and protected native forest in Terceira, other land uses, such as naturalized vegetation areas, exotic forests, and semi-natural pastures, could serve as a continuum for the protected areas network. This result suggests that protecting marginal non-natural areas may also be important, especially when areas with well- preserved natural habitats are scarce. This spatial planning approach can be easily applied to other islands in the archipelago and any similar island systems, to better plan conservation efforts (such as habitat restoration) and to design specific buffer zones around a protected areas network.