Countries of Occurrence:
Portugal - Azores
Lamelas-López, L. & Mendonca, E.
Facilitators / Compilers/s:
Canariphantes junipericola is a single-island endemic species restricted to Flores (Azores, Portugal) (Crespo et al. 2014). It has a very small Extent of Occurrence (EOO = 4-12 km²) and Area of Occupancy (AOO = 4-12 km²), but the value is assumed to be at the upper end of this estimate. The species is rare and only known from a single subpopulation in the Natural Forest Reserve of Caldeiras Funda e Rasa. The surrounding area is highly invaded by alien plants. In the past, the species has probably strongly declined due to changes in habitat size and quality. Currently, invasive plants are changing some of the areas and decreasing the quality of the habitat. Based on Ferreira et al. (2016) the habitat will further decline as a consequence of climate change. Therefore, we suggest as future measures of conservation: (1) regular monitoring of the species; and (2) control of invasive plant species. Based upon the small geographic range of the species and continuing decline of its habitat area and quality, it is assessed as Critically Endangered.
Canariphantes junipericola is a single-island endemic species restricted to Flores (Azores, Portugal) (Crespo et al. 2014), known from Natural Forest Reserve of Caldeiras Funda e Rasa (Natural Park of Flores). The Extent of Occurrence (EOO) is 4-12 km2 and the maximum estimated Area of Occupancy (AOO) is 12 km2.
The species is rare, and only known from a single subpopulation on Flores island. The main patch is very small and currently being invaded by invasive plants (Hedychium gardnerianum and Hydrangea macrophylla). The surrounding area is already heavily invaded by the same invasive plants and parts are occupied by Cryptomeria japonica plantations. A continuing decline in the number of mature individuals is inferred from monitoring schemes (Borges et al. 2016) and from the ongoing habitat degradation.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
This species occurs in very a small fragment of native forest on Flores island (Azores), dominated by Juniperus brevifolia (Crespo et al. 2014) with an altitudinal range between 367 and 659 m. Adults were collected in summer (Crespo et al. 2014). This species builds typical sheet-webs at ground level, with few or little herbaceous cover, due to a closed canopy.
In the past, the species has probably strongly declined due to changes in habitat size and quality (Triantis et al. 2010). Currently, invasive plants (Hydrangea macrophylla, Hedychium gardnerianum and Rubus ulmifolius) are changing the structure of the forest and the cover of bryophytes and ferns in the soil which will impact the species' habitat quality. 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 management of surrounding habitats, namely for Cryptomeria japonica plantations, may have also an impact on individuals.
The species is not protected by regional law, however, suitable habitat is in four regionally protected areas (Natural Parks of Faial, Pico, Sao Jorge and Terceira). Degraded areas, degraded due to invasive plant species should be restored and a strategy needs to be developed to address the current threat by invasive species and the future threat by climate change. Formal education and awareness is 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 find additional specimens in other areas of native or exotic forest and to obtain adequate information on population size, distribution and trends. An areabased 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).