species e-bulletin

News from the IUCN Species Survival Commission and the IUCN Species Programme

January 2013

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Rhinos in crisis

Escalating levels of poaching and illegal trade in rhino horns, the highest in over 20 years, are seriously undermining rhino conservation efforts, putting the survival of these species at risk according to a report compiled by the IUCN SSC African and Asian Rhino Specialist Groups and TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network. Read the article here.

Black rhino (Diceros bicornis)

Saving Saola from snares

An initiative created by the IUCN SSC Saola Working Group and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Greater Mekong Programme has successfully removed and destroyed 26,651 snares from the forests of Viet Nam and Laos that are home to the rare and elusive Saola. Described as the most concrete on-the-ground result for Saola conservation since the species’ scientific discovery 20 years ago, these efforts are saving the lives of Saola and other wildlife in the region. Read the full story here.

Forest guards in action collecting snares

Asian Wild Cattle Specialist Group

A three day workshop held in India and attended by the IUCN SSC Asian Wild Cattle Specialist Group has identified methods of protecting the Wild Asian Buffalo (Bubalus arnee), a species listed as Endangered on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. Click here for more information.

Wild Asian Buffalo (Bubalus arnee)

Bat Specialist Group

AfriBats – a citizen-science project documenting bat distributions in Africa and surrounding islands has been launched with the endorsement of the IUCN SSC Bat Specialist Group. AfriBats seeks to mobilize both amateur and professional knowledge through the iNaturalist platform and the data will be used for scientific projects and inform conservation actions. Click here for more information.

IUCN SSC Bat Specialist Group

Bumblebee Specialist Group

The IUCN SSC Bumblebee Specialist Group (BBSG) has produced a report outlining the many activities of the BBSG Regional Groups during 2012 that have contributed to the substantial progress towards IUCN Red List assessments in many parts of the world. The report is available to download here or visit their website for more information about the BBSG.


Conservation Breeding Specialist Group

In this yearly report on the work that was accomplished at the Conservation Breeding Specialist Group Annual Meeting, held in Melbourne, Australia, you'll find a letter from the Chair, summaries of the eight working groups, and activity reports of the nine regional networks. Links to the full report are included at the end of the summaries. Read the Annual Meeting report here.

Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii)

International Giraffe Working Group

The latest issue of Giraffa, the newsletter of the IUCN SSC ASG International Giraffe Working Group and Giraffe Conservation Foundation is available now. Contents include a tribute to Dr Jean-Patrick ‘JP’ Suraud, a round up news from research and translocation projects and summaries of recently published research. Read Giraffa here.


Mangrove Specialist Group

An IUCN SSC Mangrove Specialist Group has been established to bring together experts to share mangrove knowledge and develop conservation plans for this group of species that are under considerable threat and in need of more conservation action. The group is co-chaired by Dr Jurgenne Primavera and Professor Joe Lee. More information is available here.

Submerged mangrove

Wild Pig Specialist Group

The IUCN SSC Wild Pig Specialist Group has launched a new website dedicated to information about wild pigs and the work of the Specialist Group. Visit the site here.

Common Warthog

Disease Risk Analysis Guidelines

The Disease Risk Analysis Guidelines have been drafted by the Wildlife Health Specialist Group with the collaboration of the Conservation Breeding; Invasive Species; and Reintroduction Specialist Groups. This draft now requires a broader review in the SSC with a view to the final version being adopted formally as IUCN SSC guidelines. Comments on the guidelines are being invited before the 15 February 2013. Please contact Lisa Starr lisa.starr13@gmail.com directly to obtain a copy of the guidelines.


New IUCN SSC Policy Subcommittee Underway

The new Policy Subcommittee (PSC) aims to increase the visibility of species issues in policy fora with a view to achieve the best possible conservation outcomes for species. The committee will coordinate SSC activities related to policy in multilateral and intergovernmental fora and provide advice to SSC and IUCN, based on the best available science. SSC Steering Committee members and Chairs of Specialist Groups have been asked to nominate members of the PSC. Stay tuned for more information as the committee members are selected and activities get underway! Please contact the Chair, Susan Lieberman slieberman@pewtrusts.org with any questions.

A Heliconius erato in Mindo, Ecuador

IUCN/TRAFFIC Analyses of Proposals CITES CoP16

In preparation for the CITES CoP16 meeting that will take place 3-14 March 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand, IUCN and TRAFFIC have released the Analyses of the Proposals to Amend the CITES Appendices on December 24, 2012. More information and the Analyses are available here.

IUCN / TRAFFIC Analyses of the Proposals to Amend the CITES Appendices for CoP16

Access the Freshwater BioBrowser on your iPhone

The Freshwater BioBrowser, a simple interactive map which allows you to explore the biodiversity of Africa’s freshwaters, can now be accessed on your smartphone! It works best on iPhones but is also available on android phones. To access it, download the ArcGIS app and search for “Freshwater Biobrowser”.

The Sahara aphanius Aphanius saourensis is the freshwater fish under higher risk of extinction in the northern African region, (Critically Endangered).

In Golden Ponds

SOS – Save Our Species is supporting a project in Madagascar that is repairing habitats of the Golden Mantella (Mantella aurantiaca) which have been damaged by artisanal gold mining. With support from SOS, Madagasikara Voakajy, a Malagasy organisation, is working with local communities to restore damaged pond habitats and protect the Golden Mantella, a species listed as Critically Endangered on The IUCN Red List. Read the full story here.

The Golden Mantella (Mantella aurantiaca)

Changes to the IUCN Red List assessment process

Some significant changes to the IUCN Red List assessment process have been made that are intended to help expedite the time taken to complete a Red List assessment in order for it to be included on the global IUCN Red List. These new rules are in immediate effect and it is hoped they will help dramatically improve the time taken to complete any single assessment while still maintaining the necessary rigour of the Red List. The new supporting information requirements for IUCN Red List assessments can be found as Annex 1 to the document “Rules of Procedure for the IUCN Red List Assessment process 2013-2016”.

Southern Rockhopper Penguin, Falkland Islands

Are you still using the old Access-based Data Entry Module (DEM)?

We also take this opportunity to encourage anyone still using the old Access-based Data Entry Module (DEM) to immediately contact the Red List Unit in Cambridge, UK to arrange a login to the new Species Information Service. From 01 March 2013, the IUCN Red List will no longer be able to process any assessments still being managed in the DEM. Contact details are available here.

Galapagos tortoise

Tracking sharks with the Rolex Awards for Enterprise

Barbara Block, a renowned marine scientist, has been studying the ocean for more than 30 years. A recipient of a 2012 Rolex Award for Enterprise, she will use her award to monitor the activity of sharks off the coast of California and increase public awareness of the marine environment. Read the full story here.

Great White Shark (Carcharodon carcharias) off the California coast with an acoustic and satellite tag

Tiger conservation supported by 2012 Rolex Award

Sergei Bereznuk is a recipient of a 2012 Rolex Award for Enterprise that will support the conservation of the Amur Tiger (Panthera tigris ssp. altaica), which is listed as Endangered on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. By educating children and supporting anti-poaching rangers, Bereznuk has dedicated himself to saving this magnificent species from extinction. Read the full story here.

Amur Tiger (Panthera tigris ssp. altaica)

Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) Notification to the Parties

The CMS Secretariat had submitted comments on proposals to amend the CITES Appendices relating to marine species. Please note that this information is also of relevance to the Signatories to the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Sharks and the Memorandum of Understanding concerning the Conservation of the Manatee and small Cetaceans of Western Africa and Macaronesia. All CMS Notifications can be accessed online. For further information, please contact the CMS Agreements Officer, Melanie Virtue: mvirtue@cms.int.

CMS logo
Convention on Migratory Species logo

Biodiversity's Ticking Time Bomb: Understanding and Addressing the Problem of Invasive Species in Europe

On 21 February 2013, IUCN Europe, in cooperation with the IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group and BirdLife, and with the support of the European Habitats Forum, will organize a high-level debate at the European Parliament in Brussels to discuss the issue of invasive alien species in Europe and the development of an EU policy instrument to tackle them. Invasive alien species are acknowledged as a serious threat to biodiversity in Europe, and today, Europe hosts over 11,000 alien species with a recorded increase of 76% in the last 30 years. IUCN and BirdLife want to urge the European Union to adopt a legislative instrument on invasive alien species early in 2013. At the event on 21 February, European policy-makers, scientists and NGOs will discuss together the best solutions to combat invasive alien species in Europe. More information is available here.

Invasive species introduced accidentally in shipping containers, Rotterdam, Netherlands

Upcoming courses at Durrell Conservation Academy

There are two upcoming courses at Durrell Conservation Academy. Between 25-29 March 2013 there will be a Facilitation and Communications Skills course. The course is co-directed by Dr Susie Ellis, Executive Director of the International Rhino Foundation, and Dr Kristin Leus, Programme Officer for CBSG-Europe, in association with Durrell staff. An introduction to GIS for Conservation Managers course is being held 1-5 April 2013. For further information please visit www.durrell.org/academy or contact academy@durrell.org.

Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust logo

Vacancy - Executive Director, Society for Conservation Biology

The Society for Conservation Biology, an international professional organization, is seeking an Executive Director. The position serves and promotes the global membership of the Society, oversees the operations of its publications (Conservation Biology and Conservation Letters), actively engages in development activities, ensures the successful organization of the biennial global meeting, supports all SCB programs, and represents SCB before diverse audiences. More information and details about how to apply are available here.


17th International Conference on Frankineae and Actinorhizal Plants

The 17th International Conference on Frankineae and Actinorhizal Plants will be held in the city of Shillong, India, 10-12 April 2013. The meeting will be a unique opportunity to discuss the major advances, perspectives and constraints on Frankineae and actinorhizal research and to strengthen and build up new partnerships. Visit http://www.bicnbu.in/frankia/ for more information.

Frankia alni

Bonobo (Pan paniscus): conservation strategy 2012-2022

This strategy aims to ensure the long-term protection of bonobos across their range through the implementation of conservation actions designed to reduce, and if possible eliminate, the direct threats and contributing factors that are causing bonobo populations to decline. Given the extremely difficult context (institutional, security, accessibility), particular effort was made to ensure that the choices of strategies and actions were pragmatic and realistic. Available in English and French.

Bonobo Conservation Strategy 2012-2022

Off the Shelf

The latest information on IUCN publications including these titles:
- Conservation des dunes côtières: restauration et gestion durables en Méditerranée occidentale
- Lebanon’s marine protected area strategy: supporting the management of important marine habitats and species in Lebanon
- Guide to investing in locally controlled forestry

Click here for more details and links to the publications.

Off the shelf newsletter

Threatened Species in Switzerland

The Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) has released a report compiling and analysing all of the data from the existing Swiss Red Lists of threatened plants, animals and fungi. A number of specific analyses provide new insights into the status and spatial distribution of threatened species as well as into the nature of the threats they are affected by. A copy of the report can be found here.

Threatened Species in Switzerland

Birds and People – BirdLife Botswana’s Bird Conservation Newsletter

The latest newsletter from BirdLife Botswana features articles about: a pelican die-off at Savuti; the capture of thousands of Amur Falcons in northern India; and an interesting guide to identifying Bateleur age classes. Read the e-magazine here.

BirdLife Botswana Newsletter No. 36


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IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) © 2013

The monthly e-Bulletin supplements Species, the published newsletter of the Species Programme and the SSC. It aims to keep staff, members and the wider IUCN network up-to-date with Species news and announcements. Past issues are available on the IUCN Species website. Contact us sscmembership@iucn.org


Photo credits@ IUCN: Header : Intu BOEDHIHARTONO

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