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Insects as flagship conservation species

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image of Terrestrial Arthropod Reviews

Insect conservation has generally received less public attention than vertebrate conservation. Less is known about threats to invertebrates, and invertebrates generally have less public charisma than vertebrates and thus engender less concern. We argue that an additional reason is that invertebrates are rarely used as flagship conservation species, and that increased focus on invertebrate conservation in public campaigns would benefit this important group of species and conservation efforts in general. We describe conservation efforts focused on three groups: charismatic insects, endangered insects, and insects that provide important ecological services. In each of these cases, we provide a case study that illustrates ways in which these efforts have wide-reaching conservation and education impacts. Our goals are to expand insect conservation efforts and to motivate entomologists and conservationists in general to utilize appropriate insect species to garner support for conservation efforts.


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