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Invertebrates At Risk

Map No. 278

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Invertebrates have no backbone; some have an exoskeleton or shell. Ants, spiders, dragonflies, crustaceans and stick insects are all invertebrates. Although molluscs are invertebrates they are not shown here.

Of the 1070 insects assessed 559 were globally at risk of extinction; 429 of the 502 crustaceans assessed were at risk; 30 of about 60 other species assessed were at risk. Over 60% of assessed species are classed as globally threatened. Less than 1 in 600 of the known invertebrate species have been assessed.

The most species at risk were in the United States at 300, followed by 109 in South Africa, then 107 in Australia.

“Invertebrates play important roles in nutrient cycling and in creating and maintaining biological diversity ... audiences may overlook their significance because many invertebrate species are small or cryptic.” R. T. Ryti, 2000

Territory size shows the proportion of invertebrate species (not including molluscs) assessed as locally at risk of extinction, found there.

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