SPECIAL SESSION: HYPERDIVERSITY – APPROACHES TO CONSERVING INVERTEBRATES (Tuesday 4 November)

Invertebrates constitute a substantial component of biodiversity but are often given limited attention in conservation efforts because data are limited and challenges are significant. Effective conservation planning efforts require comprehensive data on species distributions, which are often only available for a handful of select, charismatic invertebrate taxa, if any at all. Several ambitious projects are currently under way in South Africa with the specific goal of bridging this gap and ensuring that invertebrates are more comprehensively integrated into conservation efforts. The goal of this special session will be to present examples of these to the general conservation community and to promote the use of the resulting datasets by a broad base of conservation practitioners. Spiders, lacewings, butterflies, bees, and several other groups will be covered. Mark Robertson will also discuss the possibilities and limitations of atlas datasets for conservation purposes. This session is a must for anyone interested in invertebrate conservation or broad representation of biodiversity in systematic conservation planning efforts.