Species conservation profiles of cave-dwelling arthropods from Azores, Portugal

Borges, P.A.V., Lamelas-López, L., Amorim, I.R., Danielczak, A., Boieiro, M., Rego, C., Wallon, S., Nunes, R., Cardoso, P. & Hochkirch, A. (2019) Species conservation profiles of cave-dwelling arthropods from Azores, Portugal.

Biodiversity Data Journal, 7, e32530. DOI:10.3897/BDJ.7.e32530 (IF2019 1,331; Q3 Biodiversity Conservation)
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  • Apr, 2019



Azorean volcanic cave biodiversity is under considerable pressure due to ongoing threats of pollution, land use change, touristic activities or climate change. In this contribution, we present the IUCN Red List profiles of 15 cave-adapted arthropod species, endemic to the Azorean archipelago, including species belonging to the speciose genus Trechus(Carabidae), which is represented in Azores by seven species. The objective of this paper is to assess all endemic Azorean cave-adapted species and advise on possible future research and conservation actions critical for the long-term survival of the most endangered species.

New information

Most species have a restricted distribution (i.e. occur in one or two caves), very small extent of occurrence (EOO) and a small area of occupancy (AOO). A continuing decline in the number of mature individuals is inferred from the ongoing cave habitat degradation. The two troglobitic species of the homopteran genus Cixius are in great danger of extinction due to major land-use changes in epigean habitats above their known localities. We suggest, as future measures of conservation, the regular monitoring of the species (every five years), the creation of additional protected caves, the limitation of several aggressive activities around the caves (e.g. decreasing pasture intensification) and in some cases the creation of fences in the entrance of the most important caves.