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Abstract

A total of 27 taxa from taxonomic groups with few species, or that are less well known, are listed as Threatened, 50 taxa are At Risk, 110 taxa are Data Deficient and three taxa are Extinct. Thirteen taxa are Nationally Critical: Aceria clianthi; Eriophyoidea incertae (Acari); Cryptops sp.; Haasiella sp. (Chilopoda); Burmjapyx sp. (Diplura); Hirudobdella antipodum (Hirudinea); Antiponemertes allisonae (Nemertini); Prasmiola unica (Opiliones); and Tepakiphasma ngatikuri (Phasmatodea) are freeliving whereas the lice Apterygon okarito, Coloceras harrisoni, Rallicola takahe and Saemundssonia chathamensis (Phthiraptera) have the same threat status as their bird hosts. No taxa were considered Nationally Endangered but 14 ectoparasites are Nationally Vulnerable, including six Acari and eight Phthiraptera. The At Risk taxa comprise two that are Declining, four that are Recovering, one that is Relict and 45 taxa that are Naturally Uncommon. Earthworms (Oligochaeta) also make up 101 of the 110 Data Deficient taxa. All of the Extinct species were host-specific feather lice: two were on extinct birds and one became extinct when its host was transferred to predator-free islands. Thirty-six earthworm species that were previously Data Deficient are now ranked Not Threatened, as are five Phthiraptera that were previously ranked either Nationally Critical or Nationally Endangered and one Phasmatodea that was previously ranked Nationally Endangered.
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... As with the taxonomy, information around the conservation needs of New Zealand landhoppers is scant. Only one valid species, Dana taranaki (formerly Tara taranaki), is currently assessed in the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS), presently placed in the 'Minor invertebrate groups' taxon report (Buckley et al. 2012). A lack of information about the ecology of our species is largely to blame for this situation, though taxonomic issues have no doubt also contributed. ...
... Currently, the Department of Conservation appear to have two terrestrial amphipod taxa listed in their threat classification lists. The first species, Tara taranaki (now Dana taranaki) is listed in the "Minor invertebrate groups" report (Buckley et al. 2012), which can now be updated. The second "species" is recorded as "Makawe spp.: Talitridae" and is included in the Freshwater invertebrates report (Grainger et al. 2018). ...
Technical Report
Terrestrial amphipods (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Talitroidea) or landhoppers have often been overlooked as research or conservation subjects in New Zealand. Currently, there are 28 native species of landhopper described from New Zealand. Information around their conservation needs is scant and only one species is currently assessed in the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). There is an urgent need therefore to understand the conservation requirements of our native landhoppers. This report presents the recommended threat statuses for all 28 native landhopper species described from New Zealand. Recommendations for a further eight undescribed New Zealand species, as well as two introduced species, are also presented. Two species were assessed as being Threatened (both Nationally Vulnerable), and 11 taxa were classed as At Risk (two as Relict, and nine as Naturally Uncommon). Most native species fell into the Not Threatened and Data Deficient categories. Two species are listed as Introduced and Naturalised. All but one of the assessments were newly proposed listings for the NZTCS. The implications of the recommended rankings on research and management of landhoppers in New Zealand are discussed. Notably, serious knowledge gaps around the taxonomic status of many New Zealand landhoppers are impeding our ability to accurately determine appropriate threat statuses and conservation measures. A pending journal publication will therefore focus in more detail on the current state of the taxonomy.
... Parasites, such as this louse (Phthiraptera, Rallicola pilgrimi Clay, collected June 2014, South Island, New Zealand), which went extinct when its host, the little spotted kiwi (Apteryx owenii Gould), was transferred to predator-free islands(Buckley et al., 2012), and which is not on the Red List, are almost completely unknown in the assessment of extinctions.Photograph: Creative Commons 4.0. Te Papa (A1.018470). ...
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There have been five Mass Extinction events in the history of Earth's biodiversity, all caused by dramatic but natural phenomena. It has been claimed that the Sixth Mass Extinction may be underway, this time caused entirely by humans. Although considerable evidence indicates that there is a biodiversity crisis of increasing extinctions and plummeting abundances, some do not accept that this amounts to a Sixth Mass Extinction. Often, they use the IUCN Red List to support their stance, arguing that the rate of species loss does not differ from the background rate. However, the Red List is heavily biased: almost all birds and mammals but only a minute fraction of invertebrates have been evaluated against conservation criteria. Incorporating estimates of the true number of invertebrate extinctions leads to the conclusion that the rate vastly exceeds the background rate and that we may indeed be witnessing the start of the Sixth Mass Extinction. As an example, we focus on molluscs, the second largest phylum in numbers of known species, and, extrapolating boldly, estimate that, since around AD 1500, possibly as many as 7.5-13% (150,000-260,000) of all~2 million known species have already gone extinct, orders of magnitude greater than the 882 (0.04%) on the Red List. We review differences in extinction rates according to realms: marine species face significant threats but, although previous mass extinctions were largely defined by marine invertebrates, there is no evidence that the marine biota has reached the same crisis as the non-marine biota. Island species have suffered far greater rates than continental ones. Plants face similar conservation biases as do invertebrates, although there are hints they may have suffered lower extinction rates. There are also those who do not deny an extinction crisis but accept it as a new trajectory of evolution, because humans are part of the natural world; some even embrace it, with a desire to manipulate it for human benefit. We take issue with these stances. Humans are the only species able to manipulate the Earth on a grand scale, and they have allowed the current crisis to happen. Despite multiple conservation initiatives at various levels, most are not species oriented (certain charismatic vertebrates excepted) and specific actions to protect every living species individually are simply unfeasible because of the tyranny of numbers. As systematic biologists, we encourage the nurturing of the innate human appreciation of biodiversity, but we reaffirm the message that the biodiversity that makes our world so fascinating, beautiful and functional is vanishing unnoticed at an unprecedented rate. In the face of a mounting crisis, scientists must adopt the practices of preventive archaeology , and collect and document as many species as possible before they disappear. All this depends on reviving the venerable study of natural history and taxonomy. Denying the crisis, simply accepting it and doing nothing, or even embracing it for the ostensible benefit of humanity, are not appropriate options and pave the way for the Earth to continue on its sad trajectory towards a Sixth Mass Extinction.
... Host-parasite networks are altered and threatened by global change [11]. For instance, co-extinction of parasites from their hosts has been well documented [12][13][14] with some of these as a result of conservation efforts to save their hosts [15][16][17]. One of the bestknown examples is the extinction of the avian chewing louse, Colpocephalum californici Price & Beer, 1963 from the Critically Endangered Californian Condor Gymnogyps californianus (Shaw, 1797). ...
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S Feather chewing lice are common and important ectoparasites of birds. Here we report for the first time the presence of the ectoparasite, Colpocephalum trichosum Harrison1916 (Phthiraptera: Menoponidae on the Andean condor Vultur gryphus Linnaeus, 1758 from the North high Andes of Ecuador in Pichincha province. A total of 20 louse specimens were collected and analyzed from one free-living female juvenile host. Additionally, high resolution photographs of the louse are included, and a discussion on the potential implications of ectoparasites on the conservation of this threatened bird species is presented. Finally, we propose that further studies on Andean Condor ectoparasites should be focused on the potential causes and effects of these interactions.
... Parasites may also be disadvantageously affected by host captivity if for instance intermediate hosts are absent (Milotic et al. 2020); however, in some cases parasites may remain in captive host populations despite treatment (Mironov et al. 2018). Regular treatments to save one organisms may thus lead to the extinction of another (Buckley et al. 2012;Rózsa and Vas 2015;Bulgarella and Palma 2017). ...
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The crested ibis has survived a dramatic population decline during the twentieth century, declining from a range across much of China, Japan, the Korean peninsula and nearby Russia, to a known world population of seven individuals. These formed the basis of a successful breeding program in Shaanxi, China. We examined ibises in this breeding program for ectoparasites, to establish whether any of the three chewing louse species known from this host had survived this severe host population bottleneck. We recovered representatives of three species of lice, identified as the same species as those previously known from the wild populations: Ardeicola nippon, Colpocephalum nipponi, and Ibidoecus meinertzhageni. Of these, the two first species were recovered from almost all examined hosts, whereas I. meinertzhageni was more rare. As these lice are host specific, this implies that all three louse species remarkably survived this bottleneck, and are now thriving in both the reintroduced and captive populations of crested ibis. This constitutes an unintentional success story in the conservation of parasitic species. We provide the first photos of all three species, as well as a preliminary assessment of their conservation status, and discuss the future of chewing louse conservation.
... Although the topic of parasite conservation is still gaining traction among the wider conservation community, within the Australasian region, a number of researchers have advocated for it (Buckley et al., 2012;Fig. 6 Scanning electron micrograph of an unidentified phoretic mite (circled) on Macropsylla flea collected in Victoria, Australia Ash et al., 2017;Kwak & Heath, 2018;Kwak, 2018b;. ...
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Macropsylla Rothschild, 1905 is an endemic Australian flea genus represented by two species: M. hercules Rothschild, 1905 and M. novaehollandiae Hastriter, 2002. However, their identification is challenging. To address this difficulty, an extensive differential diagnosis for the two species is provided along with a key to distinguish Macropsylla from other Australian flea genera. The first record of M. hercules from the domestic cat (Felis catus (L.)) is also presented. The taxonomy, distribution, host relationships, evolution, and ecology of the Macropsylla species are discussed, along with the conservation biology of the threatened New Holland flea M. novaehollandiae.
... Among the conservation assessments which have been undertaken in Australia, relatively few have examined free living invertebrates, and none have yet assessed any group of parasitic invertebrates, although there are such initiatives in New Zealand (Buckley et al. 2012;Heath et al. 2015). This study seeks to assess the conservation status of the Australian host specific fleas for the first time, and present a simple method for the assessment of host specific parasites. ...
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While invertebrate conservation is attracting increased funding and interest, research remains heavily skewed towards ‘flagship’ insect groups like bees and butterflies. This has resulted in a knowledge gap relating to less popular but equally imperilled groups like fleas. Methods for the risk assessment of host specific parasites were used to determine the conservation status of all host specific flea species distributed in Australia. The results indicated one species apparently extinct, two critically endangered, two endangered, and three vulnerable. Based on these results, novel methods for the conservation of threatened fleas are outlined, including the concepts of holistic conservation and the cryptic loss effect.
... Of particular concern for threatened species, is that translocation may induce parasite extinction cascades for host-specific parasites that are likely to be endangered themselves (Colwell et al., 2012) and antiparasitic drug treatment may further compound this effect. For example, the host-specific louse Rallicola (Aptericola) pilgrimi did not survive translocation to predator-free islands along with its host the spotted kiwi (Apteryx owenii) and is now extinct (Buckley et al., 2012). Targeted ectoparasite removal in black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) is suspected of causing the extinction of the host-specific louse (Neotrichodectes sp.) and this species is now host to a low diversity of generalist ectoparasites (Harris et al., 2014). ...
Article
Host-parasite relationships are complex, and in wild animal populations individuals are commonly co-infected with various parasite species or intraspecific strains. While it is widely recognised that polyparasitism has the potential to reduce host fitness and increase susceptibility to predation or disease, the role of polyparasitism in influencing translocation success has never been investigated. Here we review the consequences of translocation for the host-parasite infracommunity and demonstrate how translocation-induced perturbations to within-host-parasite relationships may exacerbate the negative impacts of polyparasitism to the detriment of host health and translocation success. We also consider the ecological and immunological effects of altering host-parasite assemblages during translocation, and illustrate how the use of anti-parasitic drugs can further modify parasite infracommunity dynamics, with unintended impacts on target and non-target parasites. Importantly, as the evolutionary and ecological significance of the host-parasite relationship is increasingly recognised, we discuss the benefits of conserving parasites during fauna translocations.
... On the one hand, parasites may negatively affect the natural and captive populations of their hosts threatened with extinction (De Castro and Bolker, 2005;McCallum and Dobson, 1995), and on another hand, these parasites often represent endangered species by themselves (Gomez and Nichols, 2013;Rózsa and Vas, 2014). The latter is especially relevant for host-specific parasites (symbionts), such as many ectosymbionts of birds and mammals that often face co-extinction with their host (Buckley et al., 2012). ...
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Endangered species of hosts are coupled with endangered species of parasites, which share the risk of co-extinction. Conservation efforts sometimes include breeding of rare species in captivity. Data on parasites of captive populations of endangered species is scarce and the ability of small numbers of captive host individuals to support the biodiversity of native parasites is limited. Examination of ectosymbionts of the critically endangered Philippine eagles and the endangered Mindanao Hawk-Eagle kept at the Philippine Eagle Center, Philippines, revealed three feather mite species despite regular treatment with insecticide powder. No other ectosymbiont taxa were detected. Studies in morphology and molecular phylogeny of these feather mites based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers indicate that species found were typical for Accipitridae. Three new pterolichoid feather mite species (Acari: Pterolichoidea) were described from two species of eagles (Accipitriformes: Accipitridae) endemic to the Philippines: Hieracolichus philippinensis sp. n. (Gabuciniidae) and Pseudalloptinus pithecophagae sp. n. (Pterolichidae) from the Great Philippine Eagle Pithecophaga jefferyi Ogilvie-Grant, 1896, and Pseudogabucinia nisaeti sp. n. (Kramerellidae) from the Mindanao Hawk-Eagle Nisaetus pinskeri Gould, 1863. The presence of H. philippinensis on P. jefferyi supports the recent finding that the Great Philippine Eagle belongs to the lineage of serpent eagles (Circaetinae) rather than to the Harpy and other eagles.
... Soon after, a chewing louse (Huiacola extinctus) went extinct (17), along with its host, the huia (a wattlebird hunted for its feathers). More recently, the louse Rallicola (Aptericola) pilgrimi was lost after its host, the smallest kiwi (Apteryx owenii), was translocated to predator-free islands (18). Therefore, most New Zealand extinctions have probably been parasite extinctions. ...
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