In response to the ongoing global extinction, conservationists must prioritize future conservation investments to ensure that such measures are biologically effective and economically viable. To propose an effective conservation plan for Orthoptera assemblages on Cyprus Island, we introduce the Standardized Conservation Index (StCI), a biodiversity index accounting for the conservation value (ci), presence, dispersal ability, endemism and conservation status of a species. We evaluated the effect of eleven environmental variables on StCI, ci, species richness and the Shannon–Wiener diversity index, using linear and generalized linear models. Species and environmental data were collected in 60 localities that were placed along four elevational zones and included seven habitat types. Our results revealed the importance of rural mosaics and forests for the conservation of Orthoptera. The Shannon–Wiener diversity index failed to show the importance of high-altitude forests. The Orthoptera species diversity was favored by flower heads and the soil humidity, while rock cover and high shrubs had a positive and negative effect, respectively, on the StCI and ci values. Our results underline the value of StCI in complementing traditional diversity indices, as a scale-independent index that can be used for different taxa to prioritize sites of conservation concern.

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Staff publications

Tzirkalli, Elli, Zografou, Konstantina, Willemse, L., Vogiatzakis, Ioannis N., & Kati, Vassiliki. (2024). Conservation Prioritization of Orthoptera Assemblages on a Mediterranean Island. Diversity, 16(6 (347)). doi:10.3390/d16060347