Countries of Occurrence:
Portugal - Azores
Facilitators / Compilers/s:
Peloptulus borgesi is an endemic species of the Azores (Portugal), described from the island of S. Miguel. From the species description, it would have a very small Extent of Occurrence (4 km2) and Area of Occupancy (4 km2), which are likely underestimates, as this species probably has a wider distribution through the soil component of the island. It can be assumed that this species is affected by human activities and invasive plant species like Hedychium gardnerianum and Clethra arborea, which alter the natural structure and composition of the soil. Future climatic changes and increased risk of droughts will also affect this species. However, the present situation of this species needs to be further assessed and further research is needed into its population, distribution, threats, ecology and life history. Conservation of natural habitats and invasive species control could potentially aid this species' conservation. Based upon the incomplete knowledge regarding this species population, distribution, threats and ecology, this species is assessed as Data Deficient (DD).
Peloptulus borgesi is an Azorean-endemic oribatid mite species known from S. Miguel island (Azores, Portugal) (Borges et al. 2010), described from the Nature Reserve of Graminhais. From the species description, the Extent of Occurrence (EOO) would be ca. 4 km² and the Area of Occupancy (AOO) would be 4 km².
No current population size estimates exist for this species. As an oribatid mite, this species in likely common and widespread in the soil habitat.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
The ecology and traits of this species are unknown. Oribatid mites are associated with organic matter in most terrestrial ecosystems, being found throughout the soil profile, in surface litter, on grasses, shrubs or in the bark and leaves of trees, among other habitats. Oribatida are also one of the most numerically dominant arthropod groups in the organic horizons of most soils (Behan-Pelletier 1999). Peloptulus borgesi was collected in native Laurisilva vegetation.
A lack of information regarding the present range of this species precludes an assessment of potential threats. The area where this species was collected is being threatened by the spread of invasive plants (Hedychium gardnerianum and Clethra arborea), which are changing the habitat structure. Additionally, it can be assumed that this species will be affected by future habitat declines as a consequence of climate change (Ferreira et al., 2016) and increased droughts. Other factors that affect habitat quality like land use changes, pesticides and nutrient loads might also affect this species.
The species is not protected by regional law, but it has been collected in a regionally protected area (Natural Park of Sao Miguel). Land-use changes are likely one of the main current and future threats, and conservation of native habitats and invasive species control could potentially aid this species' conservation. Further research is needed into its population, distribution, threats, ecology and life history. It is also necessary to develop a monitoring plan for the invertebrate community in order to contribute to the conservation of this species.