A global perspective on conserving butterflies and moths and their habitats
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.
Citation: Merckx, Thomas, Huertas, Blanca, Basset, Yves and Thomas, Jeremy. 2013. A global perspective on conserving butterflies and moths and their habitats. In: Mcdonald, David W. and Willis, Katherine J., Key Topics in Conservation Biology 2. : John Wiley & Sons,() pp.237-257.