n African Entomology - Terrestrial invertebrates of Gough Island : an assemblage under threat?

Volume 10, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1021-3589



The natural communities of Gough Island have the reputation of being amongst the most pristine of any cool-temperate oceanic island. However, Gough Island is relatively depauperate in indigenous invertebrates, and preliminary results of an ongoing terrestrial invertebrate survey have shown that introduced species now equal, or exceed, the numbers of indigenous species in many groups. Furthermore, many of these introductions are likely to have occurred within the last 50 years. Such high rates of recent introductions constitute a significant conservation threat to the indigenous invertebrates and the island's biodiversity as a whole. In addition, endemic invertebrate species are amongst the prey of a non-invertebrate introduction, the house mouse ( Linn.). In this paper, we review the present knowledge of the invertebrates of Gough, report on the preliminary observations of the ongoing Gough Island Terrestrial Invertebrate Survey, and discuss the implications of introduced species for the conservation of Gough Island's indigenous species.

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