14. A global perspective on conserving butterflies and moths and their habitats

  1. David W. Macdonald5 and
  2. Katherine J. Willis6
  1. Thomas Merckx1,
  2. Blanca Huertas2,
  3. Yves Basset3 and
  4. Jeremy Thomas4

Published Online: 25 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118520178.ch14

Key Topics in Conservation Biology 2

Key Topics in Conservation Biology 2

How to Cite

Merckx, T., Huertas, B., Basset, Y. and Thomas, J. (2013) A global perspective on conserving butterflies and moths and their habitats, in Key Topics in Conservation Biology 2 (eds D. W. Macdonald and K. J. Willis), John Wiley & Sons, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118520178.ch14

Editor Information

  1. 5

    Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Department of Zoology, Recanati-Kaplan Centre, Tubney House, University of Oxford, UK

  2. 6

    Biodiversity Institute, Oxford Martin School, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, UK

Author Information

  1. 1

    Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Department of Zoology, Recanati-Kaplan Centre, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

  2. 2

    Life Sciences Department, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, UK

  3. 3

    Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Apartado, 0843-03092, Balboa, Ancon, Peru

  4. 4

    Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 FEB 2013
  2. Published Print: 15 APR 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470658765

Online ISBN: 9781118520178

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Keywords:

  • butterflies;
  • ecological conservation;
  • habitat change;
  • landscape scale;
  • lepidoptera;
  • moths;
  • multi-species conservation;
  • single-species conservation

Summary

Lepidoptera are one of the four major insect orders. They are scale-winged insects, traditionally divided into three major assemblages: micro-moths, butterflies and macro-moths. Before discussing practical conservation of Lepidoptera, it is necessary to consider their known rates and causes of change, and whether these are representative of other insect species. The chapter states that declines in Lepidoptera are driven primarily by factors that affect all species, rather than by targeted overcollecting. Butterflies may be useful indicators of habitat change. The chapter suggests that butterflies can be sensitive predictors of the impacts of environmental change on other organisms, as well as useful representatives of less conspicuous terrestrial insects. It comments on how approaches to Lepidoptera conservation differ between regions and land use types, and stresses the importance of adopting a landscape scale allied to a resource-based view, both for single-species and for biotope/community conservation.