One of the world's most important biodiversity hotspots, Madagascar is home to a disproportionately large and diverse flora and fauna with high levels of cryptic diversity and endemism.
This study examines available GBIF-mediated species occurrences of nine insect orders to evaluate the current coverage in knowledge of Malagasy entomofauna. With access to a dataset of 286,000 occurrences, researchers mapped and identified areas of high and low sampling, while investigating potential associations with specific ecosystems, protected areas and access infrastructure.
Their analysis revealed that the Eastern Madagascar subhumid forest and lowland rainforest host a significantly higher number of insect records than expected. More than 60 per cent of sampling happens within 1 km of a road, while no records are present beyond 10 km from a road.
The current protected areas of Madagascar house around 70 per cent of insect occurrences. A proposed expansion of the PA system would significantly improve this, especially for orders that are not currently well represented within PAs—Neuroptera, Odonata and Lepidoptera.