Lamelas-López, L. & Mendonca, E.
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Savigniorrhipis acoreensis is an endemic money spider species occurring on seven islands of the Azorean archipelago (Azores, Portugal) (only absent in Corvo and Graciosa) (Borges et al. 2010). It has a relatively large Extent of Occurrence (EOO = ca. 39,209 km²) and relatively small Area of Occupancy (AOO = 39,209 km²). This species occurs mainly in Azorean pristine native forest at high elevation sites with forests dominated by Juniperus brevifolia and densely covered by mosses and ferns. Ongoing threats, such as invasive plant species, are considered to be causing continuing declines, and so the species is assessed as Vulnerable (VU).
Savigniorrhipis acoreensis is an endemic money spider species occurring on seven islands of the Azorean archipelago (Azores, Portugal) (only absent in Corvo and Graciosa) (Borges et al. 2010). Within these seven islands it is known from eighteen Natural Forest Reserves: Caldeiras Funda e Rasa and Morro Alto e Pico da Sé (Natural Park of Flores); Caldeira do Faial and Cabeço do Fogo (Natural Park of Faial); Mistério da Prainha, Caveiro and Caiado (Natural Park of Pico); Pico Pinheiro and Topo (Natural Park of S. Jorge); Biscoito da Ferraria, Pico Galhardo, Caldeira Guilherme Moniz, Caldeira Sta. Bárbara e Mistérios Negros and Terra Brava (Natural Park of Terceira); Atalhada, Graminhais and Pico da Vara (Natural Park of S. Miguel) and Pico Alto (Natural Park of S. Maria). The Extent of Occurrence (EOO) is ca. 39,209 km2 and the Area of Occupancy (AOO) is 224-268 km2 .
This can be considered one of the most abundant endemic Azorean spider species, but it is most abundant in native forest. Current Population Trend: Decreasing.
The species occurs mainly in native forests and builds a sheet weaver web in the canopies of endemic trees, particularly Juniperus brevifolia, but also in all the other endemic trees. This is a generalist predator that is also frequently found in marginal habitats, such as the canopies of Cryptomeria japonica. It is active during the night and based on long-term data with SLAM traps (Borges et al. 2017) it occurs in all seasons, but with adults being dominant in summer and early autumn. The species tends to be more abundant at high elevation sites with pristine forests dominated by Juniperus brevifolia and densely covered by mosses and ferns. Systems: Terrestrial.
In the past, the species has probably strongly declined due to changes in habitat size and quality (Triantis et al. 2010). However, the species seems to have survived in the remaining native forests of Azores, mostly at high elevation pristine forests. The main current threat is the spread of invasive plant species namely Hedychium gardnerianum and Pittosporum undulatum on most islands, and Clethra arborea on S. Miguel, which are changing the structure of the forest and the cover of endemic trees and shrubs. Based on Ferreira et al. (2016) the habitat will further decline as a consequence of climate change (increasing number of droughts, and habitat shifting and alteration).
The species is not protected by regional law, but its habitat is in regionally protected areas (Natural Parks of Faial, Flores, Pico, S. Jorge, Terceira, S. Miguel and S. Maria). Degraded habitats on some islands, degraded due to invasive plant species, should be restored (e.g. S. Maria) and a strategy needs to be developed to address the current threat by invasive species on all islands as well as the future threat from climate change. A habitat management plan is needed and one is anticipated to be developed during the coming years. Formal education and awareness are needed to allow future investments in restored habitats invaded by invasive plants; while further research is needed into its ecology and life history in order to obtain adequate information on population size, distribution and trends. An area-based management plan is also necessary for the most disturbed sites, including invertebrate monitoring to contribute to a potential species recovery plan. Monitoring every ten years using the BALA protocol will inform about habitat quality (see e.g. Gaspar et al. 2011).