Diversity and conservation status of native Australian beesMichael Batley1 and Katja Hogendoorn2
1 Australian Museum, 6 College St, Sydney, N.S.W., 2010, Australia and Department of Biological Sciences, Division of Environmental and Life Sciences, Macquarie University, North Ryde, N.S.W. 2109, Australia
2 School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, University of Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia
Received 8 August 2008 – Revised 14 October 2008 – Accepted 26 October 2008 - Published online 13 May 2009
Abstract - Australia's idiosyncratic bee fauna is characterised by a combination of numerous endemic taxa and by the complete absence of some families. Many species, and in particular several oligolectic species, remain undescribed and more than half the named taxa are in need of revision. The main threats to the native bee fauna include removal of nesting and foraging opportunities through land clearing and agriculture, the spread of exotic plant species and the consequences of climate change. Early steps to conserve the native bee fauna include commercial applications, the raising of public awareness and preservation of natural habitat. However, these actions are severely hampered by a lack of both identification keys and taxonomic expertise. Considerable investment in taxonomic research is needed to improve this state of affairs.
Key words: native bees / Australia / conservation / taxonomy / Apoidea
© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2009