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A Review of Hypotheses of Decline of the Endangered American Burying Beetle (Silphidae: Nicrophorus americanus Olivier)

Abstract

The largest species of North American Nicrophorus (Coleoptera: Silphidae), N. americanus, was placed on the US federal list of endangered species in 1989. This paper reviews literature bearing on eight hypotheses that attempt to explain the dramatic decline of this species over 90% of its former range. What is known regarding each hypothesis is separated from what remains to be investigated. We find that although progress has been made during the past 12 years, even the most well supported hypothesis requires a number of important studies to be completed or extended before we can confidently explain the decline of this species and predict the success of conservation efforts.

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Correspondence to Christopher J. Raithel.

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Sikes, D.S., Raithel, C.J. A Review of Hypotheses of Decline of the Endangered American Burying Beetle (Silphidae: Nicrophorus americanus Olivier). Journal of Insect Conservation 6, 103–113 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1020947610028

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  • American burying beetle
  • Endangered species
  • Hypotheses of decline
  • Nicrophorus americanus
  • Silphidae