Global Status and Trends in Ephemeral Pool Invertebrate Conservation: Implications for Californian Fairy Shrimp


The main threat to all ephemeral pool invertebrates throughout the world is habitat loss caused by land uses that destroy or severely damage these wetland ecosystems. Fairy shrimp and other invertebrates restricted to temporary pools are absolutely vulnerable to habitat loss because the subpopulations of each species are contained completely within the confines of discrete pool basins. The dormant population within each pool basin numbers from tens of thousands to millions of individuals, depending largely on pool basin size. These individuals can live in the cyst stage of their life cycle for decades and possibly centuries, a situation that contrasts sharply with the comparatively few short lived individuals observed as active animals during the ponding phase of the pool. Considering these factors, regulatory take prohibitions covering the four listed Californian fairy shrimp species should be directed at actions threatening the diapausing population in the cyst bank, and recovery planning should focus on habitat protection. The public should be given the opportunity to capture and handle a reasonable number of active fairy shrimps without the necessity of obtaining a permit as this will increase public knowledge of, and support for, fairy shrimp without posing a threat to the listed species. Adopting this approach should increase the survival chances of all ephemeral pool species by increasing public support for vernal pools and other ephemeral wetlands. CITATION. Pages 147-150 in: C.W. Witham, E.T. Bauder, D. Belk, W.R. Ferren Jr., and R. Ornduff (Editors). Ecology, Conservation, and Management of Vernal Pool Ecosystems Proceedings from a 1996 Conference. California Native Plant Society, Sacramento, CA. 1998.

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@inproceedings{Belk1998GlobalSA, title={Global Status and Trends in Ephemeral Pool Invertebrate Conservation: Implications for Californian Fairy Shrimp}, author={Denton Belk}, year={1998} }