The IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) is a science-based network of more than 9,000 volunteer experts from almost every country of the world, all working together towards achieving the vision of, "A just world that values and conserves nature through positive action to reduce the loss of diversity of life on earth".

Most members are deployed in more than 130 Specialist Groups, Red List Authorities and Task Forces. Some groups address conservation issues related to particular groups of plants, fungi or animals while others focus on topical issues, such as reintroduction of species into former habitats or wildlife health.

Members include:

  • researchers
  • government officials
  • wildlife veterinarians
  • zoo and botanical institute employees
  • marine biologists
  • protected area managers
  • experts on plants, birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates.

Working in close association with IUCN’s Global Species Programme, SSC’s major role is to provide information to IUCN on biodiversity conservation, the inherent value of species, their role in ecosystem health and functioning, the provision of ecosystem services, and their support to human livelihoods. This information is fed into The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

SSC members also provide scientific advice to conservation organisations, government agencies and other IUCN members, and support the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements.

The Policies, Guidelines & Standards produced by the SSC provide guidance to specialized conservation projects and initiatives, such as re-introducing animals into their former ranges, handling confiscated specimens, and halting the spread of invasive species.