Safeguard partners contribute to an updated list of 3000 European bee and hoverfly species

Carla Stoyanova | 18/10/2023 10:42:35 | article

Recently, an updated list of around 3000 European bee and hoverfly species, co-authored by Safeguard partners, was published in the journal Insect Conservation and Diversity, aiming to contribute to pollinator conservation.

In times of disturbing global changes affecting pollinators worldwide, more knowledge of the species distribution at the national and continental levels is needed to implement efficient conservation actions. However, this knowledge is limited and difficult to access. 

To address this need, a determined group of experts incorporated both published and unpublished data, as well as knowledge from a large set of taxonomists and ecologists in both groups, to develop an updated list of around 3000 European bee and hoverfly species.

The paper presents the current state of the knowledge of pollinator distributions at the European, country and sub-national levels for both bees and hoverflies. The list reflects the species’ current distributional status in the form of present, absent, regionally extinct, possibly extinct or non-native.

With 2138 bee species and 913 hoverfly species in total being recorded, results show that the European country with the highest number of recorded bee species was Greece (1187 species), followed by Spain (1171 species) and Italy (1050 species). Regarding hoverflies, France was the most species-rich (566 species), followed by Italy (513 species), Switzerland (492 species) and Germany (467 species).

This large-scale database serves as a valuable reference for elucidating large-scale patterns in how species distribution is connected to climatic and other abiotic factors. The authors also suggest that this would allow a better understanding of the suitable environmental conditions for each species, shedding light on the reasons behind the shifts in their distribution ranges across the continent due to global changes.

Read the full article here.

Figure 2. from the article: Map of Europe, representing the richness of bee (a) and hoverfly (b) species recorded in each country (or sub-country unit) or its European part. Countries in grey colour were not included in this study.

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This project receives funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101003476.

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