Conservation priorities for forest-floor invertebrates of the southeastern half of Madagascar: evidence from two land-snail clades

Abstract

Leaf litter and soil of tropical forests harbour some of Earth's most diverse, most endangered, yet least understood biological communities. How well do east-southeast Madagascar's reserves protect this resource? A preliminary answer is provided by the landsnail genera Cyclophoridae Boucardicus and Charopidae n. gen., as represented by 3680 specimens in 64 species, collected 1990–1993 from 129 stations in 26 transects, with nine reserves included. These two genera qualify as indicator/target taxa because they are endemic, species-rich, well-defined clades, sensitive to environmental degradation, with species readily identifiable by shells alone. Indices of diversity and endemism were used to rank 12 bioclimate-latitude regions by priority for conservation/collection. The higher-priority regions generally have some forest nominally conserved, of which the lowland-rainforest reserves of Manombo, Kianjavato, and Betampona are especially rich. A crucial exception, however, is the highest-priority region: the coastal-montane rainforests to the north of Tolagnaro (Fort Dauphin), which are completely unprotected and are rapidly being destroyed. (Andohahela Reserve hes westward, where diversity and endemism are 60% and 20% lower, respectively, so it conserves less than a fourth of the general region's endemic diversity.)

DOI: 10.1007/BF00051783

Cite this paper

@article{Emberton2004ConservationPF, title={Conservation priorities for forest-floor invertebrates of the southeastern half of Madagascar: evidence from two land-snail clades}, author={Kenneth C. Emberton}, journal={Biodiversity & Conservation}, year={2004}, volume={5}, pages={729-741} }