Anthropogenic disturbances and rare tiger beetle habitats: benefits, risks, and implications for conservation.
This review summarizes the literature and some primary data on the effects of anthropogenic disturbances on tiger beetle habitats, including how this may help or harm populations of rare species, and how understanding these effects is important in tiger beetle conservation and management. The main focus is on U.S. species but relevant literature from other regions of the world is included. First I discuss tiger beetle habitats and the importance of open patches, then review how human disturbances may be essential for creating these open areas of habitat but may also negatively impact populations and act as limiting factors. The factors discussed are: (1) vehicles, bicycles and pedestrian foot traffic; (2) livestock grazing and other animal activities; (3) soil movement and deposition; (4) irrigation and cultivation; and (5) dams, diversions and shoreline structures. Finally, I review the threat of encroaching vegetation from natural succession and invasive species into rare tiger beetle habitats and how implementing disturbance regimes may counter this threat and be used in conservation and management of rare tiger beetles.