Invertebrates have their place in environmental assessment and management.
Plants, vertebrate animals and short-range endemic (SRE) invertebrates are routinely included during environmental assessments. In Western Australia the most notable SREs that are considered are those that live underground. There is an enigma here, since a few dozen underground species are given attention, while ignoring the thousand or more above-ground invertebrates that occupy the same area. These organisms facilitate essential ecological functions and their fate may influence the health of the impacted ecosystem. In the accompanying paper, Jonathan Majer and Volker Framenau outline the case for routinely considering terrestrial invertebrates during environmental assessments and call for guidelines to be developed so that regulators, proponents and consultants can include terrestrial invertebrates in their agendas.
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