Sciences au Sud n°40 - June-July-August 2007
Santo 2006 : Destination biodiversity
Two hundred and three participants were involved, including 153 scientists, of 25 different nationalities. More than four months were spent in the field. The Santo expedition 2006 will mark History as one of the largest biodiversity inventory operations ever realized.
This unprecedented scientific mobilization was organized to fulfil a sizeable ambition: compile a comprehensive picture of the biodiversity situation of the isle of Espiritu Santo (more commonly called “Santo”), part of Vanuatu, by including highly diversified and relatively unknown groups of organisms like insects, in terrestrial environments, and molluscs and crustaceans, in marine habitats. This inventory will help to obtain a reliable assessment of the magnitude of biodiversity, in its most diverse compartments and in the richest environments, to assess the relative significance of rare species in the composition of communities and gain a better grasp of the spatial dimension of biodiversity. In that way a better idea should emerge of the extent to which a site is representative at the regional scale.