Novel method to assess poorly-known taxa following natural disaster reveals threatened bee species

October 7, 2021

A group of Australian researchers led by James Dorey, a new BGC Center Postdoctoral Associate, have just published an article in the journal Global Change Biology. The article tackles a major issue in the conservation of poorly-known taxa — conservation assessments using sparse collection and biological data following massive disturbance events. In the context of the Australian 2019-20 Black Summer wildfires, the researchers examined 1/3 (553) of all described Australian native bee species. A variety of geographical, occurrence, and life-history data were used to make more-holistic IUCN assessments of these poorly known and critically-important species. The novel method recommended the first-ever IUCN listing of Australian native bees, with two species Endangered and nine Vulnerable to extinction. Importantly, this research paves the way for future rapid conservation assessment of poorly-known taxa following large-scale disturbance events, such as wildfires, and ever-increasing concern as climates continue to change.

The full article can be read here.