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Distributed for French National Museum Natural History

Terrestrial Biodiversity of the Austral Islands, French Polynesia

As part of a larger research program aiming to inventory and evaluate the terrestrial biodiversity of French Polynesia, a series of multidisciplinary scientific expeditions were conducted in 2002, 2003, and 2004 to the five inhabited Austral Islands—Raivavae, Rapa, Rimatara, Rurutu, and Tubuai—at the southernmost tip of this French collectivity. This book contains the findings of those expeditions.

The primary goals of these studies were to: identify and characterize the Austral Islands’ terrestrial and freshwater native habitats, in order to assess their conservation status; to localize the natural areas of high ecological value; to conduct exhaustive inventories of native and alien vascular plant species and animals (mainly birds, mollusks, insects, and other arthropods); to estimate the distribution and abundance of threatened species and assess their conservation status; to identify past and current threats to species and their habitats; to study the dynamics and evolution of the terrestrial biota compared with historic data; and to propose recommendations for biodiversity conservation and natural resource management. Taken as a whole, the obtained results have greatly improved our knowledge of the ecology, biogeography, and evolutionary and conservation biology of the Austral Islands terrestrial biota.

224 pages | illustrated in color throughou | 8 1/4 x 11 3/4 | © 2014

Biological Sciences: Tropical Biology and Conservation

Table of Contents

Introduction: Multidisciplinary Scientific Expeditions to Assess the Terrestrial Biodiversity of the Austral Islands
Jean-Yves Meyer & Elin M. Claridge

The Austral Island in French Polynesia
Jean-Yves Meyer

An Atypical Hotspot Chain
René Maury, Christelle Legendre, Chatherine Chauvel, Gérard Guille, Sylvain Blais, Hervé Guillou & Philippe Rossi

The Birds: an Unbalanced but Unique Avifauna
Jean-Claude Thibault

A Global Overview of the Terrestrial and Freshwater Molluscs
Olivier Gargominy & Benoît Fontaine

Insects and Spiders
Elin M. Claridge, Jessica E. Garb, Rosemary G. Gillespie & Diana M. Percy

Odonata and Selected Aquatic Insect Taxa
Ronald Englund

Vascular Flora, General Traits and Main Threats
Jean-Yves Meyer, Hervé Chevillote & Timothy J. Motley

Vegetation Types and Map of Rapa
Timothy J. Motley, Alfred Luongo & Jean-Yves Meyer

The Paleobotanical Record of Rapa: Indications for the Phytogeography
Matthew Prebble

Sandalwood, Current State of Knowledge and Implications for Conversation and Enhancement
Jean-Francois Butaud, Jean-Pierre Bianchini, Jean-Marc Bouvet, Vincent Gaydou, Émeline Lhuillier, Phila Raharivelomanana & Fanny Rives

“Mikaka Rapa”: Taro Cultivars of Rapa
Timothy J. Motley & Roland Fenstemacher

Addresses of the Authors

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