congresos y reuniones científicas
Mapping the distribution of coccinellids in Argentina: goals and challenges
Congreso; XXVI International Congress of Entomology; 2022
Native ladybird biodiversity is declining in many regions of the world mainly due to the effect of invasive species, habitat loss, and climate change. Argentina presents a very diverse landscape with about 160 reported ladybird species, from which 21% are endemic. However, because of the lack of researchers studying their biodiversity, the knowledge about ladybird abundance and distribution shows big gaps, making it impossible to evaluate their trends and to develop conservation strategies. In addition, deforestation, changes in land use, and the extended invasion of the harlequin ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) threatens native ladybird species and call for urgent national initiatives in the conservation of this group and other beneficial insects. The use of traditional techniques for biodiversity surveys in large countries like Argentina would be extremely expensive and time-consuming. Citizen Science is a powerful alternative to gather biodiversity data for wide geographical scales, and it is also a way of engaging people with science, increasing their awareness of environmental issues. Here, I will present preliminary data of a new long term Citizen Science Project aimed to map the distribution of conspicuous ladybirds across the country and to analyse their trends which will be the base for the development of conservation programs. I will also discuss the limitations and challenges of this kind of approach in South America.