species e-bulletin

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

November 2011


European Environment: alarming decline in plants, molluscs and freshwater fish

Europe's natural heritage is showing an alarming decline, according to new research published today. The European Red List, a part of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, assessed a considerable portion of Europe’s native fauna and flora, finding that a large proportion of molluscs, freshwater fish and vascular plants now fall into a threatened category.  Full story


Logo for IUCN Red List

New research for Mediterranean canyons and cetaceans

Leading conservation organisations join forces to improve field research on key marine habitats and species in the Mediterranean. On 19 May 2011 in Marseille (France), the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation, the Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas (RAC/SPA), the French Agency of Marine Protected Areas and the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Contiguous Atlantic Area (ACCOBAMS) signed an agreement to bring together their scientific and technical knowledge, and to assemble the necessary technical and financial arrangements to enrich the knowledge available and better protect the resources in the area launching a Survey on Mediterranean Cetaceans and deep seas prospecting exercises.  More info


Into the deep unknown – scientists on a mission to explore underwater mountains

Top marine scientists from around the world are on a six-week cruise on board the RRS James Cook to explore underwater mountains – or seamounts – of the southwest Indian Ocean Ridge. Their main focus will be to study species which live on the seabed and to understand the impacts that deep sea fishing has on marine life in the region.  Full story  Expedition blog


South West Indian Ocean Seamounts cruises - Route and stations

Good news for the Giant Manta Ray

The Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) agreed to list the giant manta ray (Manta birostris) under CMS Appendix I and II at the recent COP in Bergen. The listing obligates CMS member countries to provide strict national protections for giant manta rays and their key habitats, and encourages concerted global and regional action among all Range States to conserve the iconic species. Manta rays are under increasing threat from East Asian demand for their gill rakers, used in Chinese medicine, which is driving targeted fisheries. “We are elated that the CMS Parties have embraced Ecuador’s proposal for protecting the magnificent and exceptionally vulnerable giant manta ray,” said Sonja Fordham, President of Shark Advocates International and former Chair of the Shark SG. “CMS is an excellent vehicle for facilitating much needed national and international safeguards for this wide-ranging, globally threatened species and its key habitats.”

Giant Manta Ray (Manta birostris)

Instant Wild - Images from the wild sent directly to you

The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) have launched a new Instant WILD app and website hoping to revolutionise the way conservationists monitor remote wildlife hotspots around the world.  Images from camera traps are  sent in real-time – meaning users can get a rare glimpse into the lives of lions, elephants or wild dogs on their commute home. Traditionally it can take one conservationist days to sort through photographs from a camera in order to log information from the pictures.  But, now with the public’s help, these images will be sorted into species groups allowing conservationists to analyse the data much faster than ever before. Full details


Expertos se reúnen con periodistas ecuatorianos para analizar la situación de especies marinas amenazadas

lrededor de 30 periodistas de prensa escrita, radio y televisión participaron en el desayuno de trabajo “Desafíos para la conservación de especies en el Ecuador: el cambio climático y su efecto en el mundo marino”. El evento, organizado por la Embajada Británica en Quito y la Oficina Regional para América del Sur de la UICN (Unión Internacional para la Conservación de la Naturaleza), permitió a los comunicadores conocer en detalle la situación de tiburones, mantas y corales, además de la Lista Roja de Especies Amenazadas ... Màs informacòn


Species on the Edge app is launched

 Acclaimed by the US Apple Store as ‘New and Noteworthy’, the new Species on the Edge app is a detailed guide to 365 species from the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. Featuring stunning photos and thought-provoking information it allows users to learn about threatened species from around the world.  More


Species on the Edge app for iPad and iPhone

Asian Wild Cattle SG

Studbook and population management training in Indonesia

For those species at risk of extension in the wild, a back-up population in an ex situ or zoo location can form an important part of effective conservation. This is becoming the case for a number of species that are native to Indonesia. In order to ensure high quality management of these zoo populations, studbook keepers need to have the right skills to collect information nationally on their populations, as well as collaborate in international conservation breeding programs.  AWCSG recently collaborated with the CBSG  in running a 4-day training workshop.  Details here

The Banteng (Bos javanicus), one of the nine threatened species of Asian wild cattle and buffalo.

IUCN Red List status: Endangered


 Impulsan Plan Nacional para conservación del tapir o danto en Honduras

El Grupo de Especialistas en Tapires de la Comisión de Supervivencia de Especies de la UICN, ha brindado un respaldo técnico al estado de Hoduras para impulsar la conservación del Tapir Centroamericano (Tapirus bairdii)
en este país. Este esfuerzo representa un valioso intento por conservar la integridad ecológica de los ecosistemas donde habita esta especie en riesgo. Para responder a la problemática planteada, se trazaron 4 líneas de acción, considerando como ejes transversales, acciones de gestión, capacitación, investigación y monitoreo.  Màs

Tapirs are the bigest herbivores in the Peruvian Amazon

Asian Rhino SG: A Tribute to Pralad Yonzon

Bibhab Taludar writes: "When the heart is filled words are few. I never thought I would one day write such a tribute Dr. Pralad Yonzon who died in a road accident in Nepal on 31st October, 2011. I heard about Dr Yonzon’s work and conservation activities since 1990s, but I was able to meet him for the first time in Thimphu, Bhutan in the year 2002.  A very committed and inspiring conservationist with immense experience in working in the Eastern Himalayas he was a mentor who encouraged many young people to get involved in conservation.   A member of IUCN/SSC Asian Rhino Specialist Group for some time, his sudden death has created a big void in the field of conservation that will be hard to fill. His untimely demise is a great loss especially to the AsRSG which already lost several prominent rhino conservationists in past few years including Tom Foose, Nico van Strien, Tirtha Maskey and now Pralad Yonzon. I wish all of us will follow and learn from Pralad’s example, and the conservation legacy that he has left behind. We must endeavour to carry forward his conservation mission."


New Staff - Welcome!

Jamie Carr (re) joins the GSP in Cambridge, UK as Programme Officer, Climate Change. He will be working on improving climate change resilience of protected areas in West Africa and a Cambridge Conservation Initiative project to review observed impacts of climate change on species.

Ackbar Joolia has been appointed as our new Biodiversity Systems Manager to work on the Species Information Service (SIS; the tools for Red List data entry and management; database and website for The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species) and more. Ackbar replaces Jim Ragle who left earlier this year and he will be based in Cambridge.   


SOS boosts wild tiger conservation

On-the-ground efforts to save the tiger have been given a major boost from SOS (Save Our Species) — a global conservation fund implemented by IUCN, the World Bank and GEF (Global Environment Facility) — the project will improve enforcement effectiveness in protecting and recovering tiger breeding populations and therefore addressing the biggest threat to wild tigers: poaching.  Full story

SOS logo 4

A Selection of recent Species Programme staff activities

  • Melanie Bilz working on a project to assess 1,500 vascular plants as part of phase II of the Mediterranean Biodiversity Assessment.
  • Nieves Garcia and Marcelo Togneli attended a Red List workshop for freshwater fish of the Atlantic Forest - part of the Brazilian national red listing process that is being carried out by the Chico Mendes Institute for Conservation of Biodiversity (ICMBio).
  • Andrew Rodrigues: work on guidelines (IUCN, TRAFFIC, WHO) on the conservation of medicinal plants.
  • Jane Smart: participated at SBSTTA15, the first CBD meeting since COP10 in Nagoya. The main agenda items were the indicators framework (to measure progress in achievement of the Aichi targets, alien invasive species (from the perspective of the pet and aquarium trade) and sustainable use.  There was a great deal of interest in invasive species and Jane signed an agreement with CBD Executive Secretary, agreeing to work together for Target 9 (invasive species) Full info
  • Robert Holland presented the Freshwater Biodiversity unit's workand the  freshwater Key Biodiversity Area methodology at a  MacArthur Foundation investment planning meeting for the Great Lakes Region.

Request for information on the conservation status of intertidal wetlands

The loss of intertidal flats and associated habitats, especially mud and sand flats, in East and Southeast Asia, is one of the greatest threats facing the planet’s migratory birds. A number of IUCN members have indicated their intention to submit a motion to the IUCN World Conservation Congress in 2012 on the urgent conservation needs of these intertidal flats. Consequently, IUCN has been requested to commission an independent situation analysis of relevant information about intertidal flats in East Asia to append to the motion so as to inform discussion on this issue with the relevant governments and other key stakeholders in the run up to, during, and following the Congress. Oversight of this situation analysis is being provided by the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC), in partnership with IUCN’s Asia Regional Office (ARO). IUCN hereby extends an invitation to all SSC members to contribute any information (either published/submitted to refereed journals, or otherwise readily accessible) on, in particular,

  • size and location of remaining areas of intertidal flats and associated habitats,
  • area of reclamation of intertidal flats and associated habitats, and
  • intertidal flats and associated habitats at risk in the future from planned reclamation projects or other such developments.

All information provided will be appropriately acknowledged and cited. Please submit information to Yvonne Verkuil  


SSC Steering Committee meeting, 5-7 July 2011

The Steering Committee met in Indonesia, 5-7 July 2011. The minutes can be accessed on the Species pages of the IUCN website Minutes

SSC logo

The Markhor Award - call for nominations

Recognizing and celebrating conservation performance through sustainable use, the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC) is happy to announce the "Markhor Award" 2012. This excellent award recognizes the forefront of conservationists, who are solving challenges in the field of conservation of biodiversity through sustainable hunting by using innovative and sustainable practices or creative partnerships. The award will be presented at the 11th Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Hyderabad India, in October 2012.  Nominations close end of January 2012. Full info


Masters in Conservation Leadership – applications and scholarship support for October 2012

The MPhil degree in Conservation Leadership at the University of Cambridge is a full-time, 1-year, course aimed at graduates of leadership potential with at least three to five years of relevant experience in biodiversity conservation. The course aims to deliver a world-class and interdisciplinary education in Conservation Leadership that is not available elsewhere.  Full information here

The Miriam Rothschild Scholarship Programme in Conservation Leadership has been established to support students from less developed and developing countries that are rich in biodiversity, to attend the MPhil in Conservation Leadership.  If you have any queries about making an application, please contact the Programme Administrator, Emily Chenery   


ARKive Launch Survival – an endangered animal game

Race against the clock in a battle for Survival! Tap, drag, scroll, swipe and pinch your way through a series of quick-fire mini-games to reveal the identity of some of the world’s most endangered animals. Packed full of stunning photos, this fun educational app tests speed, agility, endurance and intelligence, essential skills needed to become a Top Survivor.  Download it for free and challenge your colleagues (don't bother your kids as they'll probably beat you!)



CZS Chicago Board of Trade Endangered Species Fund

The Chicago Zoological Society administers the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) Endangered Species Fund, which supports conservation-oriented research. Accepting New Proposals: CZS CBOT Endangered Species Fund, Deadline: February 10, 2012 (early submissions welcome)  Grants are open to SSC Specialist Group Chairs and Officers, AZA/WAZA Chairs and Officers, and all interested researchers. Each group should select and submit only one proposal that has been ranked as the highest funding priority and endorsed by the group. Full details


European Red List of non-marine molluscs

This publication summarises results for all of Europe's native freshwater species of mollusc and for a selection of terrestrial mollusc families. About 44% of the freshwater molluscs and 20% of the selected terrestrial molluscs are threatened with extinction at the European level as a result of threats including pollution, dams, and water extraction (mainly for agriculture and drinking purposes) for the freshwater ecosystems and urbanisation, agriculture and recreation activities for the terrestrial molluscs.

Series: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species - Regional Assessment

Download Pdf (3.5 MB)

Cover, European Red List of Non-marine Molluscs

European Red List of freshwater fishes

This publication summarises results for all of Europe's native species of freshwater fishes and lampreys. At least 37% of these species are threatened. Major threats include the over-abstraction of water, which in many cases is further exacerbated by increasing droughts due to climate change, pollution, and the introduction of alien species. Other important threats include overfishing, especially in the large rivers of Eastern Europe and the massive increase in dam constructions which lead to the interruption of stream connectivity and the total alteration of the stream habitats.

Series: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species - Regional Assessment

Download Pdf (3.6 MB)

Cover, European Red List of Freshwater Fishes

European Red List of vascular plants

This publication summarises results for all of Europe's native species of freshwater fishes and lampreys. At least 37% of these species are threatened. Major threats include the over-abstraction of water, which in many cases is further exacerbated by increasing droughts due to climate change, pollution, and the introduction of alien species. Other important threats include overfishing, especially in the large rivers of Eastern Europe and the massive increase in dam constructions which lead to the interruption of stream connectivity and the total alteration of the stream habitats.

Series: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species - Regional Assessment

Download Pdf (3.9MB)

European Red List of Vascular Plants

Off the Shelf November 2011

Details of IUCN's latest publications Off the Shelf


IUCN Science Bulletin

The IUCN Science Bulletin is a quick summary of some of the vast amount of peer-reviewed literature that relates to IUCN’s Programme. This is not intended to be a complete overview but rather a sampler of what is being published.   Access the latest and previous editions here.


La vie sauvage dans un monde en mutation: la Liste rouge de l'UICN des espèces menacées: analyse de la liste 2008

Maintenant disponible en français

Dans ce volume, vous trouverez les informations les plus récentes sur la distribution des espèces confrontées à un risque d’extinction élevé dans certains des écosystèmes les plus importants du monde, et sur les raisons de ce déclin. Cet ouvrage apporte de nouvelles informations sur les espèces marines et d’eau douce qui offrent des services importants, y compris l’apport de protéines à certaines des communautés les plus pauvres du monde. On sait désormais que ces espèces font face à des menaces extrêmes résultant de la surexploitation et de la perte de leur habitat. Les nouveaux bilans dressés ici nous aident aussi à mieux comprendre les réponses différentielles les plus probables et les schémas géographiques attendus lorsque les effets des changements climatiques auront commencé à toucher les espèces les plus sensibles.  Version français disponible en Pdf (5.13MB)

La vie sauvage dans un monde en mutation

Other IUCN publications

Ecologically or biologically significant areas in the pelagic realm : examples and guidelines : workshop report (2011)

Field guide to seagrasses of the Red Sea (2011)

Identifying ecologically and biologically significant areas on seamounts (2011)




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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. 2009 issues are available on the Species homepage.   Contact us sscmembership@iucn.org


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