Saga of the short-range endemic




Short-range endemic invertebrates (SREs), by their very nature, can be threatened if an impending development overlaps their range. Since their extinction would be unacceptable under State and Federal legislation, surveys for their presence are often required before approval for a project can be granted. Annually, millions of dollars are being spent in Western Australia alone on surveys for SREs. In contrast, funds for research on non-SRE terrestrial invertebrates, which probably represent around 98% of animal species, are extremely sparse. This overview outlines the current attention that is being paid to SRE surveys, and contrasts it to the situation with the rest of the invertebrate fauna. The perils of not including terrestrial invertebrates in survey and research agendas are discussed, and more inclusive solutions which consider all terrestrial invertebrates are outlined.