23 Jul 2015
Molukia Project: The Ecosystem Role of Native Cockroaches in the Chilean Matorral: Research, Education and Outreach as an Integrated Conservation Strategy
Molukia Project: How Forestry and Endemic Cockroaches Can Help Each Other Through Microbiome? A Unique Case of Symbiosis in a Biodiversity Hotspot
The main aims of this project are, generate information about the conservation status of the Matorral and the distribution of roaches (native and introduced) and educate people about importance of habitat for insects. Chile Mediterranean matorral environments, is among global biodiversity hotspots and Cockroaches have intricate webs of ecological interactions so they are considered good bioindicators.
Despite the relevance of native cockroach in the maintenance of terrestrial ecosystems, there was a lack of basic knowledge regarding Chilean roaches, scientific literature on these insects is scarce and outdated (the last article on native cockroaches was published in 70`s). In the field we observed a relationship between the native flora of the coastal scrub and these insects. Regrettably, In Chile coastal matorral is under constant transformation due to housing developments, which often involves flora replacement and habitat destruction for many organisms. With this project we will generate unprecedented biogeographic information about distribution of native cockroaches and the degree of biotic homogenization product of real estate business. In addition, as we made our field survey and identify collected specimens, we will, very likely, collect introduced cockroach species. Therefore, we will also be able to generate distribution information on pest’s cockroaches.
We have considered an emphasis on the educational component. We will design and produce educational material and made outreach lectures in schools and community centres to landowners in order to differentiate between native cockroaches and other cosmopolitan pest insects. We will reinforced and promoted the outreach by multimedia and Internet-based materials because Chile is one of the most connected countries in Latin America.
We will keep direct contact with local communities and education actors and local NGOs. Beside of talks and direct outreach initiatives we will made a website and a social network page in order to provide updated content on cockroach biodiversity and ecology. We will emphasize the on the difference between native and introduced cockroaches and on the importance of preserving the ecosystem for native insects.