Data evaluation begins for Pacific Islands reptiles, land snails and freshwater fishes

26 September 2011 | Article

As part of the ongoing process to improve and strengthen our knowledge of Pacific Island species, a group of 12 local, regional and international scientists came together on 12 - 16 September to attend an IUCN Red List evaluation workshop at the IUCN Oceania Regional Office in Suva, Fiji.

The evaluation workshop is a follow up from the training workshop held in February this year, specifically for specialists on reptiles, land snails and freshwater fishes.

Over the last six months, these specialists have carried out draft assessments by gathering data on population, distribution, ecology, habitat requirements, threats and utilisation of the species’ concerned.

The evaluation process is being led by Helen Pippard, Species Programme Officer for IUCN Oceania Regional Office; staff from IUCN and Conservation International’s joint Biodiversity Assessment Unit based in Washington DC helped to facilitate the workshop. The draft assessments were reviewed and amended, and a provisional Red List category assigned to each species.

Following the workshop, the species shall go under a final review process, and results from the assessments will eventually feed into the IUCN Red List. The type of information being generated and collated will be used to guide decision-making and conservation activities of governments, NGOs and private sector in the Pacific Islands region.

The IUCN Red List is a comprehensive and objective approach for evaluating the conservation status of plants and animals. Essentially it is a database of taxa that have undergone an extinction risk assessment using IUCN’s Red List Categories and Criteria.

The Red Listing Project to carry out assessments on land snails, freshwater fishes and reptiles in the Pacific region is supported by funding from the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, the Fonds Pacifique, and from other regional organizations in Oceania.

Further information on the IUCN Red List and the assessment process can be found at:
www.iucnredlist.org or contact helen.pippard@iucn.org