species e-bulletin

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

May 2011




New international report to secure natural riches of North Africa and the Middle East

An international conservation project has brought together botanists and scientists from the Middle East and North Africa - Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Syria and Tunisia - in an unprecedented bid to secure the future of the region’s wildlife.  This new report published  by IUCN, Plantlife and WWF - Important Plant Areas of the south and east Mediterranean region: Priority sites for conservation - shows that there are more than 200 internationally significant areas for wild plants in the region, rivalling those found elsewhere in Europe and Asia for species richness, and supporting an extraordinary range of wildlife. In many of these countries, these species-rich landscapes also provide vital resources for local livelihoods.Full story

Important Plant Areas of the south and east Mediterranean region: priority sites for conservation’ (eds E. A. Radford, G. Catullo and B. de Montmollin)

Better knowledge for Mediterranean canyons and cetaceans

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) have signed an agreement to bring together their scientific and technical knowledge, but also to put together the necessary technical and financial arrangements to enrich the knowledge available and better protect the resources in the area through these two particular projects. Full story

Short-beaked common dolphins

Creation of ICCWC heralds new era in wildlife crime detection

At a Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking (CAWT) Partners meeting last month the recent formation of the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) was welcomed; and partners agreed to seek opportunities to assist with its operations.  The creation of ICCWC is an unprecedented attempt to ‘mainstream’ the fight against wildlife crime. It is a collaborative effort between five inter-governmental organizations to bring coordinated support to the national wildlife law enforcement agencies and to the sub-regional and regional networks that, on a daily basis, act in defence of natural resources. Full story



 A scientific panel led by Dr. Randal Reeves, Chair of the IUCN SSC Cetacean Specialist Group, recently completed a report entitled “Sustainability Assessment of Beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) Live-capture Removals in the Sakhalin-Amur Region, Okhotsk Sea, Russia - Report of an Independent Scientific Review Panel” which has been published as an IUCN Occasional Paper.  The independent scientific review panel was tasked with reviewing the results of research on belugas (Delphinapterus leucas), or white whales, in the Sakhalin–Amur region of eastern Russia and assessing the sustainability of recent live-capture removals. This research was sponsored by five public-display institutions (oceanaria). The main goals of the research program are to understand the status of beluga populations in the region, assess the sustainability of recent removals, and develop a conservation action plan for the Sakhalin–Amur stock. Download report

Beluga Report Front Cover

Asian Wild Cattle: Regional Conservation Strategy published

The Regional Conservation Strategy for Wild Cattle and Buffaloes in South-east Asia is a significant ouput for the Asian Wild Cattle Specialist Group. Developed under the guidelines contained in the IUCN Strategic Planning for Species Conservation: Handbook, this strategy outlines the priority actions required in all range states involved. The next step is to distribute and promote the strategy to all colleagues in Governments, NGOs and Universities to encourage action, engaging people who can help implement the Strategy to make sure it is effective.   For more information contact SG Chair James Burton

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

IUCN Red List status: Endangered

Amphibians - Join the Global Amphibian Blitz!

Amphibians around the world are disappearing. Recent estimates suggest that at least one-third (32%) of species in this unique group of animals is threatened with extinction. Nearly 168 species are thought to have gone extinct in the last two decades. With increasing land-use and climate change around the world, these trends are likely to worsen. To better understand and conserve these diverse and fascinating creatures, scientists urgently need information on where amphibians persist. To help collect this information, AmphibiaWeb, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Center for Biological Diversity, the IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group, and Amphibian Ark have partnered in the Global Amphibian Blitz. For more information on how to contribute your observations of amphibians along with the dates and locations where you observed them, anywhere in the world.

European tree frog (Hyla arborea)


Chair Susanna Gonzalez writes: "It is with deep sorrow that we announce that our dear friend Dr. Joaquin Bello Gutierrez has passed away after a long illness. Joaquin was an active DSG member who worked with White tail deer in Mexico and more recently red brocket deer. He was coordinator of the chapter on the Central American Red Brocket deer Mazama temama in  the Neotropical deer book published in 2010.  In his short life Joaquin  published research articles and participated in several of deer workshops and conferences. We send our condolences to his family, friends and to Dr. Sonia Gallina Tessaro who worked in collaboration with him for several years. All who knew him will remember his kindness, friendship and happiness and his commitment to deer research and management in Mexico."



The latest edition of the newsletter of the Antelope SG Gnusletter - Vol 29 #2 - April 2011 is now available.


Asian Rhinos

The proceedings of the 2010 meeting of the Asian Rhino SG held at Kasiranga National Park are now available.  Topics covered include: 

• Current status and conservation of Asian rhinos across their range (Greater one-horned Rhino, Javan rhino and Sumatran rhino)

• Rhino poaching and international trade

• Invasive species management

• Threats analysis of all three Asian rhino species

• Building on current Asian rhino conservation strategies


Seahorse, Pipefish & Stickleback Red List Authoriy

Formerly known as the Syngnathiformes& Gasterosteiformes RLA, those of us who can't spell  are relieved that the name has changed to the Seahorse, Pipefish & Stickleback RLA.

Hippocampus Hippocampus (Short-snouted seahorse)

New work on Key Biodiversity Areas

Congratulations to Annabelle Cuttelod who moves from working on Regional Red Lists to take on a new challenge within the Species Programme as Conservation Planning Programme Officer. Her main objective in this role will be to develop a conservation planning standard for the identification of areas of importance for conservation (key biodiversity areas). Contact Annabelle annabelle.cuttelod@iucn.org

The Mekong basin is one of the richest regions of biodiversity in the world

Species Mapping Tools Wiki site

This Wiki site is designed for those involved in creating species range maps for the IUCN Red List. It includes updated Species mapping tools for ArcGIS 10 Desktop, a new Ecoregion toolset designed to intersect with WWF ecoregions and other base layers, tools to automate common GIS tasks as well as best practice guidance and FAQs. Thanks to Yichuan Chi of the Red List team in Cambridge for putting this great resource online.  Red List Mapping Wiki

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19th CITES Plants Committee meeting

The 19th CITES Plants Committee meeting took place April 18 to 22 in Geneva, Switzerland.  This was the first Plants Committee meeting since the Conference of the Parties met (CITES CoP15) in March, 2010 so much of the work was directly following up on the decisions that took place at the CoP. The IUCN delegation consisted of Dena Cator, Thomasina Oldfield and Andrew Rodrigues who have prepared a summary report of the meeting.  There are agenda items and decisions relating to a number of Specialist Groups including the Global Trees SG, Medicinal Plant SG, Orchid SG, Madagascar Plants SG, Chinese Plants SG, Cycad SG, etc. Thanks to all SSC Specialist Group Chairs, members, RLAs and others for your feedback prior to the meeting which made  participation at and contribution to CITES possible!  Contact Dena.cator@iucn.org if you would like a copy of the meeting report.

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

Save Our Species (SOS) – new Call for Proposals

The first Call for Proposals for Save Our Species (SOS) will be issued in the next 2 weeks.  Launched in October 2010 in Nagoya and founded by IUCN, the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), SOS is an innovative global species conservation initiative supporting threatened animal, fungi and plant species and their habitats.  Detailed information for applicants, including eligibility criteria will be posted shortly on the SOS website SOSpecies

Save our Species logo

Species Magazine - latest edition

The latest edition of the Species Magazine is now available and features articles on

• Crocodile Conservation
• Boto Bait
• Amphibian Action
• Seeking Sustainable Forestry

Also included is our regular “Specialist Group Exchange” providing news on the activities of many of the SSC specialist Groups.  Download Species 53 here

Species Magazine

2011 Whitley Awards: SSC Members honoured

The 2011 Whitley Gold Award was presented to Shark Specialist Group member Rachel Graham for her work on  Saving sharks: marine conservation through community outreach and participatory research,  Belize.  More info

Antelope Specialist Group member  Elena Bykova was also honoured for her work - Community action for disappearing Saiga Antelopes of the Ustyurt Plateau, Uzbekistan. More info

Our congratulations to both Rachel and Elena for their outstanding work.


Postgraduate Diploma in International Wildlife Conservation Practice

Applications are invited until 17 June for the 2012 Postgraduate Diploma in International Wildlife Conservation Practice delivered by the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) of University of Oxford. The full time, seven month residential course from March to September each year is preceded by one month of distance learning. Designed specifically with the needs of conservation practitioners in mind, the emphasis is on equipping students with the practical skills and theoretical understanding required to contribute effectively to conservation research and action in the developing world. For more information on the course, including the curriculum and how to apply. 


Fifth International Tapir Symposium, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

 Registration and more info here


International Conference of the Global Partnership for Plant Conservation, Missouri 5-7 July 2011

The goal of this conference is to bring together plant conservation scientists, policy makers and practitioners from throughout the world to share methods and results that will advance plant conservation measurably. We hope that the conference will attract a wide range of participants to share their experiences and further the development of plant conservation science in this the U.N. Decade of Biological Diversity.  More info


2nd SWS Asia Chapter Asian Wetland Convention & Workshop, 13-15 September 2011, Kuching, Sawarak, Malaysia

This convention with the theme “Asian Wetlands experience and expertise beyond Asia – Livelihood, Sustainability and Management”, will have four plenary papers and parallel sessions based on the four main themes: (i) Livelihood practices in wetlands, (ii) Wetland sustainability and management, (iii) Wetland science and biodiversity and (iv) Wetlands and climate change. It will also include a visit to the one and only Ramsar Site in Kuching and workshop on best management practices and wetland rehabilitation/restoration.  Contact swsaccw11@aosconventions.com


Job opportunities

• Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP),  Convention on Migratory Species, Pacific Officer (CMSPO) more info 

•  Senior Programme Officer - Species Information, IUCN Global Species Programme, Cambridge, UK  more info


Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) goes open access

This year marks the 4th anniversary of the launch of the Biodiversity Heritage Library, a consortium of history and botanical libraries which have cooperatively digitized a wealth of literature on biodiversity.  in an effort to expand the reach of publications and information on this subject BHL’s materials have been made available for open access worldwide. For more information on the BHL, its activities and achievements, visit the BHL blog  or the BHL website


Bulletin de la CMS - mars/avril 2011

Cet édition du Bulletin de la CMS met en évidence les sujets suivants:

• Campagne anti-braconnage dans le désert du Niger afin de conserver la dernière zone sensible de la biodiversité saharienne
• La CMS en appelle à l’application de la loi sur la faune sauvage pour protéger les gorilles
• Atelier sur la voie de migration et la mer des Wadden
• La Journée Mondiale des Oiseaux Migrateurs 2011
• La CMS considère l’initiative « A Bat for a Friend » prometteuse
• Le PNUE lance une campagne de préservation du dugong à Palau
• Nouveaux rôles et nouvelles responsabilités au sein des Secrétariats de la CMS et d’AEWA
• Suivre les animaux migrateurs depuis l’espace
Disponible en français, anglais et espagnol


Zooquaria 74

The cover of this issue features a beautiful photo of an elegance coral by Tim Wijgerde, marking the fact that corals are now included in the EDGE programme. Zoos and aquariums are asked to join in an effort to help save species ranked on the basis of Evolutionary Distinctiveness and Global Endangeredness. Two interesting opinion articles deal with the topic of conservation from different angles: Gordon McGregor Ried asks whether new thinking about taxonomical structures should influence how we approach conservation breeding, while a group of experienced conservationists consider the difficult question of whether zoos are doing all they can to save some of the less charismatic species on the brink of extinction. Zooquaria 74 online version

European Association of Zoos and Aquaria

Arrivals in the IUCN Library

• Coral health index (CHI) : measuring coral community health (2011, CI) (http://www.iucn.org/dbtw-wpd/edocs/Bios-Eco-Mar-Cor-027.pdf)

• Sustainability assessment of beluga (Delphinapterus leucas) live-capture removals in the Sakhalin-Amur region, Okhotsk Sea, Russia : report of an independent scientific review panel (2011) (http://www.iucn.org/dbtw-wpd/edocs/SSC-OP-044.pdf)

• Mongolian Red List of mammals (2006) (http://www.iucn.org/dbtw-wpd/edocs/IUCN-RL-517.3-001.pdf)

• Mongolian Red List of mammals (Mongolian version) (2006) (http://www.iucn.org/dbtw-wpd/edocs/IUCN-RL-517.3-001-Mn.pdf)

• Biological globalisation : bio-invasions and their impacts on nature, the economy and public health (2007, KNNV)

• Reefs at risk : a map-based indicator of threats to the world's coral reefs (2011, WRI) (http://www.iucn.org/dbtw-wpd/edocs/Bios-Eco-Mar-Cor-028.pdf




World Bank information resources webcast

 On Wednesday, 15 June 2011, the World Bank will be hosting a free, online webcast to discuss the wealth of resources and research tools available from the World Bank, including the Bank’s Open Data Portal, eLibrary and eAtlas of Global Development. The session, cosponsored by Library Journal, will include demos of new and existing tools and, for those unable to attend, a full recording of the presentation will be available for download after the event. For more information, visit the event’s website: http://tinyurl.com/World-Bank-webcast.


The list of Red List Assessment workshops and Red List and SIS training workshops scheduled in the coming months is available here. 


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IUCN Commission Newsletters

World Commission on Protected Areas
WCPA News update
Commission on Education and Communication
CEC Newsletter
Commission on Environmental Law
CEL Newsletter
Commission on Ecosystem Management
CEM News Ecosystem 
Commission on Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy

CEESP Newsletter


Marine News - Global Marine & Polar Programme newsletter

The 8th issue of Marine News, includes a special report on Unowned Oceans, the results of the IUCN 2011 Underwater Photographer of the Year Contest, and captivating marine news stories related to climate change, ocean acidification, threatened marine species, marine protected areas, the Arctic marine environment and recent marine expeditions. 


IUCN European Regional Office News

News on activities including  the European Red List and the European Habitats Forum.  European newsletter


IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) © 2010

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


Photo credits@ IUCN: Header : Intu BOEDHIHARTONO