species e-bulletin

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

June/July 2011


Increased protection urgently needed for tunas

For the first time, all species of scombrids (tunas, bonitos, mackerels and Spanish mackerels) and billfishes (swordfish and marlins) have been assessed for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. Of the 61 known species, seven are classified in a threatened category, being at serious risk of extinction. Four species are listed as Near Threatened and nearly two-thirds have been placed in the Least Concern category. The results show that the situation is particularly serious for tunas. Five of the eight species of tuna are in the threatened or Near Threatened IUCN Red List Categories.  Full story English I Français l Español

Bigeye tuna (thunnus obesus).

SOS Call for Proposals now open

The first SOS Call for Proposals is now open, accepting Threatened Species and Rapid Action Grants. Deadline for applications is August 12, 2011. SOS (Save Our Species) is a global coalition initiated by the 3 founding partners IUCN, GEF and World Bank to build the biggest species conservation fund, supporting on-the-ground field conservation projects all over the world. Grants will be allocated according to strategic directions identified in consultation with IUCN`s Species Program and Species Survival Commission.  To read more or apply for a grant, click here.

SOS logo 4

Latest Red List update

Good news and bad news

The regal Arabian Oryx (Oryx leucoryx), which was hunted to near extinction, is now facing a more secure future according to the latest update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. Its wild population now stands at 1,000 individuals. “To have brought the Arabian Oryx back from the brink of extinction is a major feat and a true conservation success story, one which we hope will be repeated many times over for other threatened species,” says Ms Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Director General of the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi. “It is a classic example of how data from the IUCN Red List can feed into on-the-ground conservation action to deliver tangible and successful results.”  Not such good news for some reptile, amphibian and invertebrate species though. Full story English lFrançais l Español

Arabian Oryx

Red List Update: Birds

Big birds lose out in a crowded world
One of the world’s largest species of bird is on the brink of extinction according to the 2011 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ for birds, just released by BirdLife International, an IUCN Red List partner. The Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps) has been uplisted to Critically Endangered, the highest level of threat. Hunting, disturbance, habitat loss and fragmentation have all conspired to reduce this magnificent species to perhaps as few as 250 individuals. This year’s update brings the total number of threatened bird species to 1,253, an alarming 13% of the world total. Full story

Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps)

IUCN tools provide lifeline for Africa’s freshwater species

Freshwater species are a critical resource for many of Africa’s poorest people. Countries can now decide to use their water resources sustainably, thereby avoiding spending millions of dollars to rectify poorly planned wetland development. Decision makers across Africa are now able to benefit from an online interactive map, released by IUCN, for each of the 7,079 river and lake sub-catchments across mainland Africa that reveals information on the distribution, conservation and ecological needs of 4,989 freshwater species, of which 21% are already threatened. This tool and the accompanying IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ report ‘The Diversity of Life in African Freshwaters: Underwater, Under Threat’ provide vital information to help plan development in ways that minimize or avoid impacts to freshwater species.  Full story - English l French l Arabic

The Diversity of Life in African Freshwaters: Under Water, Under Threat.

New fungi species "SpongeBob SquarePants" discovered

What's round, bright orange, full of holes and resembles a sponge? A newly-discovered fungus that was named SpongeBob SquarePants, Spongiforma squarepantsii.  But instead of living in a pineapple on the seafloor at Bikini Bottom, the real-life SpongeBob is a terrestrial fungus that lives in rainforests on the tropical island of Borneo.  "It's really like a rubbery sponge with big hollow holes," said Dennis Desjardin, a professor of ecology and evolution at the San Francisco State University. Dr Desjardin and his colleagues, Kabir Peay, an assistant professor of plant pathology at the University of Minnesota, and Thomas Bruns, a professor of ecology and evolution at the University of California at Berkeley, co-discovered the new species. Full story


Flamingo SG

Dr Brooks Childress - a tribute

The FSG is deeply saddened to report the loss of one of flamingo conservation's champions. Dr. Brooks Childress, FSG Chair from November 2004 to July 2010, passed away in the early hours of 22 July 2011.  During his tenure as Chair, he did a most wonderful job, revitalized the group, organised support for it, used a logical and consultative approach in developing a strategy and action plans for the conservation of flamingoes, and dealt with some of the main challenges for the different speciessuch as the Lesser Flamingo at Lake Natron in Tanzania, amongst others. Those who knew Brooks will always remember him as a very smart, charming and dedicated person.  Dr Brooks Childress 

Lake Bogoria Flamingo and zebras

Invasives - Top scientists rally together in fight against invasive species

 A flurry of articles in influential scientific journals in recent months has questioned the urgency to address the growing threat to biodiversity from invasive species. The assertion is that the concern with invasive species derives from an unreasonable desire to maintain pristine ecosystems and exclude all alien species. Such criticism is, in fact, unfounded - full story

Invasive predator snail (Euglandina rosea) feeding on an endemic snail species in French Polynesia


The latest issue of "Afrotherian Conservation - Newsletter of the IUCN-SSC Afrotheria Specialist Group" has been produced by editor PJ Stephenson. This issue, along with all back issues, can be found by going to the "newsletter" section on the Afrotheria SG website.

Dr Galen Rathbun holding the newly discovered Rhynochocyon udzungwensis, a type of giant elephant shrew, or sengi

Woodcock & Snipe

The 7th Woodcock & Snipe Workshop was held in Saint-Petersburg (Russia) from 16 to 18 May 2011. This meeting was organized by the Office national de la chasse et de la faune sauvage with the financial help of the Embassy of France in Russia and the Russian Association of Hunters and Fishermen.  About 50 members of the Woodcock and Snipe Specialist Group participated in the Workshop in order to review the knowledge on these game species. More info


Amphibian Survival Alliance (ASA) appointments

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Jaime Garcia Moreno has been appointed as ASA Executive Director, working out of the European Association for Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) in the Netherlands, and Dr. Phillip Bishop as ASA Chief Scientist, working out of the University of Otago in New Zealand.

The Amphibian Survival Alliance was launched in August 2009 as an inter-institutional alliance, convened by IUCN, for responding to the global amphibian extinction crisis. Specifically, the ASA is to facilitate fuller implementation of IUCN's Amphibian Conservation Action Plan (ACAP) developed at an international meeting of experts in 2005. The ASA will work in close collaboration with the IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group and with Amphibian Ark, which was established in 2006 in accord with the ACAP to salvage species on the verge of extinction from the disease chytridiomycosis and other causes. Amphibian Ark is operating under the IUCN SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, in cooperation with the Amphibian Specialist Group and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Congratulations to Jaime and Phil who can be contacted at jaime.garciamoreno@iucn.org  and phil.bishop@iucn.org 


CITES/CBD Bushmeat meeting, Nairobi, 7-10 June 2011 outcomes

Major outputs from the meeting were:
- Revised recommendations on bushmeat which will be submitted to the CBD SBSTTA 15 meeting that will take place in Montreal, November 7 to 11, 2011.
- Revisions to the report on small scale livelihood alternatives for the un-sustainable use of bushmeat, which was prepared for the meeting
- Outline for an electronic toolkit on bushmeat (which CBD has funding to implement). The final report of this meeting can be found here along with other associated documents


National Workshop for Red List Assessments in Peru

In coordination with the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Production of Peru, the IUCN Regional Office for South America and the IUCN SSC Amphibian Red List Authority (RLA) Focal Point, a national training workshop on the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria was undertaken from June 16- 17 in Lima, Peru. Arturo Mora (IUCN-Sur) and Ariadne Angulo (Amphibian RLA Focal Point) presented the use of the categories and criteria to around 60 researchers and national, regional and municipal authorities in Peru. An IUCN State Member, Peru has initiated the process of updating its last national list of threatened species. The note of the workshop can be read in Spanish here 


Red List web site receives MARS recognition

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species web site has been selected as one of the MARS Best Free Reference Web Sites of 2011. MARS is the "MARS: Emerging Technologies in Reference" section of the Reference and User Services Association of the American Library Association (ALA).  Voted for by member librarians from around the United States, the IUCN Red List site is one of 25 web pages to be recognized by MARS this year as an outstanding site for reference information and is included in the list of MARS Best of Free Reference Web Sites of 2011 Congratulations and thank you to the Red List Unit!  

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Future for Nature Award 2012

First reminder: Call for Award Candidates!

Are you an outstanding, talented and young conservationist? Or do you know someone who fits this profile? You or your colleague might be eligible for one of the three Future for Nature Awards of € 50.000 each! Interested? Please apply no later than August 31st, 2011.  Information on the Future for Nature web site.


6th Meeting of the IOSEA Signatory States, Bangkok, 6-9 December 201

In addition to reviewing progress towards implementation of the Indian Ocean - South-East Asian Marine Turtle (IOSEA) MoU, the Signatory State meeting will consider a proposal for establishing a network of sites of importance for marine turtles, review recommendations arising from current and past species assessments, and discuss arrangements for training and capacity-building.  More details


X International Congress for Wildlife Management in Amazonia & Latin America, Salta, Argentina, 14-18 May 2012

El Congreso es organizado por el Instituto de Recursos Naturales y Ecodesarrollo (IRNED) de la Universidad Nacional de Salta. Este evento está abierto a todos los interesados en el manejo de fauna silvestre y constituirá una oportunidad para la interacción y fortalecimiento de vínculos entre investigadores y el intercambio de conocimientos sobre la investigación y conservación de la fauna silvestre que se realiza en la Amazonía y Latinoamérica. Las presentaciones y discusiones estarán enfocadas en los avances hechos en materia de diseño, desarrollo, implementación, métodos, y planes de manejo y Conservación de fauna silvestre en la Amazonía y Latinoamérica.  Para mayor información acerca del Congreso; la inscripción de resúmenes, talleres, y los cursos; e información para la inscripción, contacte a los organizadores en el E-mail: sergio_mosa@yahoo.com.ar


EAZA Academy training prospectus online

The EAZA Academy prospectus details the training opportunities available over the next few months. From breeding programme management to collection planning, from planning new education programmes to conservation psychology, EAZA hopes to deliver training across a spectrum of disciplines; this prospectus represents the first fruits of the generous donation from Fondation Segré, which enabled EAZA to hire a dedicated Training Officer, Myfanwy Griffiths. 


Training Guide on Forest Genetic Resources

Bioversity International's new Training Guide - Forest Genetic Resources (FGR)- will help practitioners make decisions which are the reality of day-to-day conservation planning. Primary forests have decreased worldwide by more than 40 million hectares since 2000, due to deforestation, selective logging and other human interventions. As a consequence conservation planning must consider the survival of individual tree species. Species Genetic Conservation (Module 1) uses a mix of multi-media elements and problem-based teaching case studies to encourage participants to consider genetic diversity as a key part of the conservation planning process. The guide is a tool for teaching and learning about FGR issues both in formal education and on-the-job training.


Cambridge University Press and Cambridge Journals offering free online access

Through 30 August 2011,free access to all journal and periodical content published between 2009 and 2010. No registration is required. For more information and details on how to find available free content, visit the Cambridge Journals site


National Academies Press: free downloads

Publisher National Academies Press (NAP) has made all PDF versions of their books available for free download from their website. The National Academies Press (NAP) is responsible for the publication of reports by the American national academies of sciences and engineering and two other major research institutions, on subjects including the environment, energy, health, and education. A full publication catalogue and more information are available from the NAP website: http://www.nap.edu


New grey literature search tool

OpenGrey (http://www.opengrey.eu), a multidisciplinary European database, gathers and describes unpublished papers and reports, including doctoral dissertations and conference proceedings, on such topics as science, technology, economics, social sciences and humanities. While not a full-text database, this new tool, as well as the Institutional Repository Search (http://irs.mimas.ac.uk/), enables users to identify pertinent grey literature on subjects of interest.


Job Opportunities

Island Conservation (IC) Pacific Regional Director - details


LIFE preventing species extinction: Safeguarding endangered flora and fauna through ex-situ conservation

June 2011 - 60 pages
Most LIFE Nature projects focus on conservation action ‘in-situ’, i.e. within the natural habitat of a particular threatened species. This may not be enough to help the most vulnerable species, however, in which case ‘ex-situ’ conservation measures are required to address the threat of extinction.  This LIFE Focus publication highlights more than 80 LIFE Nature projects that feature ex-situ conservation actions, with the goal not only of highlighting innovative ideas and good practice, but also of pointing out some of the problems that previous LIFE projects have faced so that they might be avoided by current and future projects working in the challenging field of ex-situ conservation. Download pdf  (6mb) 


Compilation of recently approved LIFE Nature & Biodiversity projects

Details on the background and objectives of 64 new environmental innovation projects in 23 countries for which the European Commission has approved funding under the LIFE+ Nature & Biodiversity programme 2010. These projects will demonstrate new methods and techniques for dealing with a wide diversity of Europe's environmental problems. Full report


CMS Bulletin May/June 2011

Featuring :

• CMS and FAO Launch Scientific Task Force on Wildlife Diseases 2
• Creating Incentives for Community Based Management of Migratory Species: the Case Study of the Saiga Antelope and the Wider Policy Perspective
• West African Elephants
• Launch of the United Nations Information Portal on Multilateral Environmental Agreements InforMEA 
 Download here


Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society: Special on the GSPC

This special issue addresses "Science and development of government policy post-Global Strategy for Plant Conservation: lessons for the future"
 It is been made available with free access courtesy of the publishers and Linnean Society.  Volume 166, Issue 3 Pages 213 - 330, July 2011  Click here


Off the Shelf

The latest information on IUCN publications - July 2011


IUCN publications

 • Biodiversity management system : proposal for the integrated management of biodiversity at Holcim sites (2010) (http://www.iucn.org/dbtw-wpd/edocs/2010-097.pdf)

• Forum national sur la diversité biologique au Burkina Faso : synthèse des résultats (2011) (http://www.iucn.org/dbtw-wpd/edocs/2011-026.pdf)

• Future directions for biodiversity action in Europe overseas : outcomes of the Review of the Implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity, December 2010 (2011) (http://www.iucn.org/dbtw-wpd/edocs/2011-024.pdf)

 • Orientaciones futuras de la acción sobre biodiversidad en el ultramar de Europa : los resultados del examen de la implementación del Convenio sobre la Diversidad Biológica, Diciembre del 2010 (2011) (http://www.iucn.org/dbtw-wpd/edocs/2011-024-Es.pdf)

 • Perspectives d’action pour la biodiversité dans l’outre-mer européen : bilan de la mise en oeuvre de la Convention sur la diversité biologique, décembre 2010 (2011) (http://www.iucn.org/dbtw-wpd/edocs/2011-024-Fr.pdf)
 • Pills, powders, vials and flakes : the bear bile trade in Asia (2011) (http://www.iucn.org/dbtw-wpd/edocs/Traf-119.pdf)

• Chimpanzé de Schweinfurth (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) : état de conservation de l'espèce et plan d'action 2010-2020 (2011) (http://www.iucn.org/dbtw-wpd/edocs/2010-023-Fr.pdf



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 World Conservation Congress, Jeju, South Korea 6-15 September 2012

The IUCN Congress website is now available in Englishl Français Español  Here you will find information about the event and can access the Call for Contributions inviting you to propose events for the Forum, the part of Congress which is open to all (from 7 to 11 September 2012) in Jeju, Korea. 

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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


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