Countries of Occurrence:
Portugal - Azores
Facilitators / Compilers/s:
Pseudosinella azorica is an Azorean-endemic, cave-adapted species from the islands of Pico, S. Jorge, Terceira and S. Miguel (Azores, Portugal). It has a small Extent of Occurrence (EOO = 9,840 km²) and a very small Area of Occupancy (AOO = 48 km²). The species is relatively common and known from eleven subpopulations, in lava tubes of the four islands. The area surrounding some caves is heavily impacted by human activities. Further research is needed into its population, ecology and life history, and a habitat management plan is also needed, with one anticipated to be developed during the coming years. We also suggest future conservation measures the regular monitoring of the species (every ten years) and limiting access to the caves. Overall, the species has a restricted range, is experiencing an ongoing decline in habitat quality, and is found at a small number of locations. This number of locations, however, is not low enough to warrant listing under a threatened category. Therefore, P. azorica is assessed as Near Threatened.
Pseudosinella azorica is an Azorean-endemic, cave dwelling springtail species known from Pico, S. Jorge, Terceira and S. Miguel islands (Azores, Portugal) (Borges et al. 2010). It is known from several caves and lava tubes in Pico (Furna dos Montanheiros, Gruta da Agostinha, Gruta do Henrique Maciel, Gruta do Soldão); in S. Jorge (Algar das Bocas do Fogo); in Terceira (Gruta das Agulhas, Gruta do Caldeira) and in S. Miguel (Gruta da Água de Pau, Gruta do Enforcado, Gruta do Esqueleto, Gruta do Pico da Cruz). The Extent of Occurrence (EOO) is ca 9,840 km² and the estimated Area of Occupancy (AOO) is 48 km².
No current population size estimates exist for this species, but it seems to be relatively widespread through several caves on four islands, with might indicate a stable population. It is possible that this species also occurs outside the caves. Current Population Trend: Stable
There is limited information regarding this species' ecology and life-history. It occurs in eleven volcanic caves, some in protected areas (Natural parks of Pico and Terceira) and others surrounded by disturbed habitats. Pseudosinella azorica was found in the dark and humid part of caves. Nevertheless, this species shows no obvious adaptations to a troglobiont life-style, and is likely an eutroglophile (i.e. epigean species able to maintain a permanent subterranean population). Systems: Terrestrial.
The main current threats to this species are the degradation of its habitat quality due to human activities like agriculture, urbanisation and construction, and recreational cave visitation. There are also several future potential threats: climatic changes (Ferreira et al. 2016) that can change the conditions inside the caves, changes in the nearby infrastructures, changes in land use, potential human recreational activities with cave visitation, and geological events (volcanic activity and earthquakes).
The species is not protected by regional law, although part of its habitat is in regionally protected areas (Natural Parks of Pico and Terceira). Land-use changes are one of the main current and future threats, and conservation and restoration measures should be extended beyond the caves. Further research is needed into its population, ecology and life history; and a monitoring plan for the invertebrate community is necessary in order to contribute to the conservation of this species. As a future conservation measure, the restriction of visits to the caves could be considered. A habitat management plan is needed and one is anticipated to be developed during the coming years.