Around part of the beetle that consumes dead trees, trees disappear across Europe – warns the World Conservation Union (IUCN) in its new report.
Researchers have investigated 700 species of dead endangered species – saproxilophage beetles in Europe. According to their results, almost one fifth of the species tested – 18 percent – are threatened by extinction due to the disappearance of ancient trees that are their habitats, “BBC News writes.
This means that saproxilophage beetles are among the most vulnerable insect groups in Europe.
These beetles play a key role in natural processes such as nutrient decomposition and recycling, and serve as an important source of nutrition for birds and mammals, and some of their species also play a role in pollination.
“Some beetles need hundreds of years of trees, so there is a need for conservation efforts that guarantee long-term protection of old trees across Europe, ensuring that the key role that beetles fill in the wild can play without a doubt,” he said. Jane Smart, leader of the IUCN Global Race Program.
According to the report, logging and destruction all contribute to the disappearance of the natural habitats of beetles. A further threat to urbanization, the boom in tourism and the increase in forest fires in the Mediterranean region.
Nature conservation must focus on the long-term preservation of old and dead trees in forests, pastures, orchards and urban areas. According to the report, in every European country an inventory of “veteran” trees of ancient and great cultural and natural value should be invented to ensure their protection. In addition, different age, dead trees, fallen trunks and logs would be needed in each landscape.
In Europe, 58 families of beetles live with about 29,000 species. Within this, about four thousand species are bound to at least part of their lives for dead rotting trees. Data on these species, however, are incomplete, which, according to experts, is urgently needed to be remedied.
Source: MTI / Image: nhmus.hu /