IUCN SSC Mid-Atlantic Island Invertebrates Specialist Group

Species

BackAtheta caprariensis Israelson, 1985

Atheta caprariensis Israelson, 1985

Rove beetle (English)

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Insecta
  • Order: Coleoptera
  • Family: Staphylinidae
CR Critically Endangered
IUCN Red List Status:

Countries of Occurrence:
Portugal - Azores

Archipelago(s):
Azores

Reviewer/s:
Danielczak, A.

Contributor/s:

Facilitators / Compilers/s:


Assessment Rationale:

Atheta caprariensis is an endemic species from S. Miguel (Azores, Portugal) (Borges et al. 2010), known from Área de Paisagem Protegida das Furnas. It has a very small extent of occurrence (EOO = 8 km²) and area of occupancy (AOO = 8 km²). There is a continuing decline in the EOO, AOO, extent and quality of habitat as well as the number of mature individuals as a result of major land-use change in the last 50 years. Main recent past and ongoig threats are destruction of habitat for creation of urban areas, industrial plantations of Cryptomeria japonica and pastures. The species occurs only at one location. Therefore, we suggest as future measures of conservation: (1) regular monitoring of the species; and (2) reforestation of areas with native trees. Based upon the small geographic range of the species with only one location and continuing decline of its habitat area and quality, it is assessed as Critically Endangered.

Geographic Range:

Atheta caprariensis is a single island endemic species from S. Miguel (Azores, Portugal) (Borges et al. 2010), known from Furnas region. The extent of occurrence (EOO) is 8 km² and the maximum estimated area of occupancy (AOO) is 8 km².

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

Population:

The species is only known from a single subpopulations in S. Miguel island. The abundance is unknown and possibly decreasing due to the impact of major urban, forestry and agriculture changes in the historical location.

Habitat and Ecology

This species occurs in one single exotic forest patch in S. Miguel island (Furnas) (Israelson 1985), with an altitudinal range between 500 and 600 m. It is a nocturnal predator that lives under bark of native and exotic trees and in the soil.

Major Threat(s):

In the past, the species has probably strongly declined due to changes in habitat size and quality (Terzopoulou et al. 2015, Triantis et al. 2010). Currently the main threat is the major changes in habitats for urban use, industrial plantations of Cryptomeria japonica and pastures, but also the spread of  invasive plants namely Hedychium gardnerianum since are changing the habitat structure, namely decreasing the cover of bryophytes and ferns in the soil and promoting the spread of other plants. 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 a degraded area that 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 in Furnas and surrounded areas and obtain information on population size, distribution and trends. It is also necessary a area-based management plan and a monitoring plan for the invertebrate community in the habitat in order to contribute to perform a species potential recovery plan. Monitoring every ten years using the BALA protocol will inform about habitat quality (see e.g. Gaspar et al. 2011).