Invertebrates are to be part of Threatened Species List in South Australia

Exciting news! The SA Government has recently stated that the listing of invertebrates as part of the state Threatened Species schedules will occur as part of their next review.

The National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 includes lists of plant and animal populations which are considered Endangered, Vulnerable or Rare in South Australia. These lists have been reviewed several times over the past 15 years; however, in the past the lists have only included vertebrate animals and vascular plants but not insects, despite all other states and territories of Australia (except NT) having invertebrates listed on their respective fauna and flora schedules.

Example of an insect species believed to be heading towards extinction in South Australia, Silver Xenica (Oreixenica lathoniella)

The news that the Department for Environment and Water will consider listing invertebrates with good knowledge and up-to-date data, considering the criteria as set out under the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), should ensure invertebrates become part of future lists. Over the coming 6-12 months (with local experts) species will be assessed for their suitability for listing which gives hope that this will further support the conservation of invertebrates, as a normal part of regular fauna population monitoring and restoration programs throughout the state.

Effort is already undertaken by individuals and organisations towards invertebrate conservation and restoration; however, to have this fauna group acknowledged in legislation is an encouraging step for South Australia and for future ecological stewardship of insect populations under threat of extinction.

Bryan Haywood