Biodiversity and Conservation

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 485–490 | Cite as

Insect extinctions on a small denuded Bornean island

  • Navjot S. Sodhi
  • David S. Wilcove
  • R. Subaraj
  • Ding Li Yong
  • Tien Ming Lee
  • Henry Bernard
  • Susan L. H. Lim
Original Paper


We report odonate and butterfly extinctions on Pulau Mengalum (Sabah) between 1928 and 2007. Pulau Mengalum has lost all of its closed-canopy forest; 55.5% of the odonates and 40% of the butterflies present in 1928 have likely been extirpated. Fourteen and five species of odonates and butterflies found by us were new records for the island, respectively. It is unclear if newly recorded species were missed by previous surveyors in 1928 or if they have colonized the island after that time. While our study indicates that deforestation is a serious threat to tropical insects, it remains unclear if deforested areas provide opportunities for new colonists.


Deforestation Biodiversity crisis Conservation Odonata Butterflies Southeast Asia 



Our study was supported by the National Geographic Society (8193-07) and Lady Y.P. McNeice through the Loke Wan Tho Memorial Foundation. Fieldwork was conducted with permission granted by the Economic Planning Unit of Malaysia. Sarah and Daniel Hrdy Fellowship provided support to NSS while this manuscript was prepared. Y.Takanami helped with butterfly identification. We thank them all.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Navjot S. Sodhi
    • 1
    • 6
  • David S. Wilcove
    • 2
  • R. Subaraj
    • 1
  • Ding Li Yong
    • 1
  • Tien Ming Lee
    • 3
  • Henry Bernard
    • 4
  • Susan L. H. Lim
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Biological SciencesNational University of SingaporeSingaporeRepublic of Singapore
  2. 2.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA
  3. 3.Ecology, Behavior and Evolution Section, Division of Biological SciencesUniversity of California, San DiegoLa JollaUSA
  4. 4.Institute for Tropical Biology and ConservationUniversiti Malaysia SabahKota KinabaluMalaysia
  5. 5.Institute of Biological SciencesUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia
  6. 6.Department of Organismic and Evolutionary BiologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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