species e-bulletin

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

May 2012


IUCN bat expert wins prestigious conservation award

Many congratulations to Rodrigo Medellín, co-chair of the IUCN SSC Bat Specialist Group, who has been awarded the 2012 Whitley Gold Award, donated by The Friends of Whitley Fund for Nature, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to conservation. Rodrigo received his award from Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal (Princess Anne) during a ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society, London, on 9th May, 2012. For the first time, the Whitley Gold Award has been presented to a previous Whitely Award winner in recognition of Rodrigo’s continued conservation efforts to protect bats and other animals in Mexico since receiving a Whitely Award in 2004.  Full story.

Rodrigo Medellin receives the Whitley Fund for Nature Gold Award from HRH The Princess Royal at the Royal Geographical Society, London, May 9th, 2012

Project supported by IUCN wins Equator Prize

An initiative developed between IUCN, TRAFFIC and WWF as part of the EU-China Biodiversity Programme (ECBP) to promote the sustainable harvesting of wild medicinal plants has been awarded the prestigious Equator Prize 2012. The initiative which has had positive results for both the conservation of wildlife and the livelihoods of people in the upper Yangtze River area of China, provides training in the implementation of organic wild crop harvesting principles and certification procedures, as well as application of the FairWild Standard principles. Full story and project details

Protecting Paris polyphylla, a medicinal plant in China

Securing a safe future for sawfishes

Shark and ray experts from around the world gathered last week at the Zoological Society of London to address the plight of the most threatened marine fishes in the world – the sawfishes. The group, convened by the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Shark Specialist Group, is breaking new ground with the development of a focused global action plan to bring these iconic species back from the brink of extinction. Full story

Smalltooth Sawfish (Pristis pectinata) caught, tagged and released by the shark lab at Bimini field station (The Bahamas) on 5 May 2012

Full force of the law needed to save stricken dugongs

Law enforcement is key to saving one of the world’s most threatened marine mammals - the Dugong (Dugong dugon) - and a project funded by SOS - Save Our Species is on the case in Mozambique. Full story


Mountain chicken frogs back in Montserrat

Scientists from the IUCN Member organisations are hoping that one of the world's largest frogs is singing songs of love on the tiny Caribbean island of Montserrat and not just singing in the rain. Mating calls would mean the so-called "mountain chicken" frogs are looking to breed and hopefully dodge extinction. The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Zoological Society of London (London Zoo) and the North of England Zoological Society (Chester Zoo) – all IUCN Members – together with Parken Zoo in Sweden have helped to rescue the frogs and created a breeding programme that has resulted in dozens of offspring.  Full story 

Montserrat’s threatened “mountain chicken” frog

Rewilding in Europe through biosphere reserves

Europe is currently in the middle of an exceptional wildlife comeback boom due to large-scale abandonment of farmland. This phenomenon is particularly notable in the continent’s mountainous areas, which are running wild with robust, resilient nature. The time has never been more ripe for the conservation of biodiversity in Europe.  On April 26, an agreement was reached between the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve Authority and WWF-Romania to work together on rewilding the Romanian part of the Danube Delta. The agreement was initiated under the new ‘Rewilding Europe’ initiative, which launched five large rewilding projects in 2011. Full story

Wild Wonders of Europe - bison


 The 4th edition of Year of the Bat Chat is online and includes:

  • Bats: Key Allies in Latin America
  • Celebrating Bats in Mexico (Mexico)
  • White-Nose Syndrome Threatens Decades Of North American Bat Conservation (USA)

And, the May edition of Bat Conservation from the Lubee Bat Conservancy includes details of three new projects on:

  • Fruit Bats as Bushmeat in the Solomon Islands
  • Youth Environmental Association (YEA) for Fanihi! (Rota - Marianas)
  • SouthEast Asian Bat Conservation Research Unit (SEABCRU) - Flying Fox Research


The latest newsletter from the RHINO RESOURCE CENTER is now online here. Newsletter No.27 May 2012



In April 2012, 83 experts in duck research and conservation from the IUCN-SSC/Wetlands International Duck Specialist Group, representing 21 countries, met in Jindřichův Hradec, Czech Republic, for the 3rd Pan-European Duck Symposium, a workshop on European seaduck conservation and a meeting of the Nordic Waterbirds and Climate Network.
Four days of workshops and conference presentations were held, and a range of issues discussed, many of fundamental importance to duck conservation and management in Europe. Participants examined the current population status of European ducks, knowledge of their ecology, the
monitoring systems used to inform conservation and management activities, and the suitability of existing legislation and policy.  visit the Duck SG website for a report and for The Jindřichův Hradec statement

The Gadwall duck was the most commonly sighted species in Tanguar Haor.

New Horseshoe Crab SG established

 The SSC Steering Committee has recently approved the proposal to establish the Horseshoe Crab Specialist Group. The group will have two co-chairs: 

Mark L. Botton, Ph.D, Professor of Biology and Co-Director, Environmental Science Program, Fordham College New York botton@fordham.edu, and

Paul K.S. Shin, Associate Professor, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, BHPSHIN@cityu.edu.hk 


Medicinal Plants

Volume 15 of Medicinal Plant Conservation has now been published.  Download it here from the MPSG website. 

MPSG's logo:  Silphion, an extinct medicinal plant from North Africa known only from images on ancient coins.

Conservation Breeding

You can read about CBSG’s recent workshops and training activities in the recently published eUpdate for May. To find the Spanish and French translations of the eUpdate, as well as past CBSG eUpdates, visit here

The recently published Western Chimpanzee PHVA for Sierra Leone workshop report is now posted on the CBSG website.

Conservation Breeding SG logo


ASG Newsletter Froglog 102 is now available online with a regional focus on North and Central America and the Caribbean as well as articles on

EPA and the Ecological Risks from the Use of Atrazine, 

Concern Over Destroying Frog Habitat on the Occasion of Save The Frogs Day in Bangladesh. 

IUCN`s Amphibian Specialist Group

Sustainable Use & Livelihoods SULi

 SULiNews: The latest news from the IUCN CEESP/SSC Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group (SULi). Issue 1 - May 2012 is now available.


The SSC Chair Office has a new address

The SSC has now moved office.

New address:

IUCN Species Survival Commission
The Courtyard Apartments
7-9 North Parade Buildings
Bath BA1 1NS


Telephone: +44 (0) 1225 326897

SSC logo

Three sets of SSC Guidelines under review: your input please

We are reaching the next stage in the process of development or revision of three different sets of SSC Guidelines.  Each set has gone through a drafting and review process as well as having been discussed in sessions at the SSC Chairs meeting in Abu Dhabi in February 2012.  The background is set out below for each of these and your comments are sought.


1. Draft Guidelines: Trophy Hunting

“Guiding Principles on Trophy Hunting as a Tool for Creating Conservation Incentives”.  The document originated from discussions between the SSC Caprinae Specialist Group (which has maintained its own Position Statement on trophy hunting here ), Simon Stuart and several other people interested in improving the use of trophy hunting as a conservation tool. It has subsequently benefited from considerable input from the joint CEESP-SSC Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group (SULi) as well as various SSC members. SSC members who are interested in reviewing and commenting on the draft document are welcome to contact Dr Rich Harris rharris@montana.com, Deputy Chair of the Caprinae Specialist Group, who is kindly coordinating this consultation process at the request of the Chair, and Dr Rosie Cooney (Chair, SULi). All inputs need to be received by 22 June 2012

Big horn sheep

2. Draft Guidelines: Reintroductions & Other Conservation Translocations

These Guidelines will update the 1998 Guidelines on Reintroductions that have been much used around the world and have been the basis for various taxon-specific derivatives. The motivation for review and update has been the experience in reintroduction over the last 30 years, and the huge and pressing challenges that so many species now face, with interventionist conservation solutions increasingly proposed and practiced. Key within the latter is the notion of ‘assisted colonisation’, usually as a response to climate change. So, the new Guidelines cover the full range of conservation translocations, not just reintroduction, and emphasise the need for caution in the face of ecological uncertainty. The Guidelines will be available for review and comment by SSC members throughout June. Feedback will be warmly welcomed in the hope that these new Guidelines can cope with the range of situations expected for an era of ecological surprise. The Guidelines will be circulated to all Specialist Group Chairs and others connected to SSC.  Contact mark.stanleyprice@zoo.ox.ac.uk 

Translocation of a giant sable antelope

3. Draft Guidelines: Ex-situ Management

Revision of the guidelines on ex situ management is partly because of a need to make existing guidance clearer and partly because of a desire to take account of many related developments within SSC since the current guidelines were adopted in 2002. The intent is that they will offer more practical assistance when deciding if and when ex situ activities should be included in the conservation strategy for a taxon. The draft guidelines have been discussed at the 2011 Conservation Breeding Specialist Group annual meeting in Prague, and revisions subsequently have been reviewed by a small drafting group comprised of several Specialist Group (SG) and SSC Subcommittee Chairs.   In late June they will be available for consultation across the SSC network and will be available here . If you would like to comment, please contact the CBSG Office at: office@cbsg.org  to be alerted when the draft is available for review or to submit comments. All comments need to be received by 16th July 2012

The Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinus)

A Handbook of Fundraising Tips

Jeremy Harris, SSC's  Development Director, has put together this short and simple handbook of fundraising tips.  It is particularly relevant to ‘relational’ fundraising which he believes holds the greatest opportunities for finding the ‘un-restricted’ funding we need.  Contact Jeremy.harris@iucn.org

money africa

GSP staff have supported lots of assessment workshops recently:

  • Freshwater fishes of the Amazon, Paraná, and Iguaçu basins as part of the National Red List Assessment process carried out by the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio). The workshop was attended by 62 experts and 12 facilitators, working in 6 groups a total of 424 species assessed.
  • Snakes of the Amazon, Atlantic Forest, Caatinga, Cerrado, Pantanal, Pampas, and Campos Sulinos regions of Brazil. Again, part of the National Red List Assessment process carried out by the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio). 18 experts from 15 institutions, and 3 facilitators attended the workshop and assessed 181 species
  • East African Plant Red List Authority workshop in Nairobi where representatives from all countries in the region (Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo) assessed  200 plant taxa from 24 different plant families.
  • 200 freshwater species of aquatic plants, freshwater molluscs and dragonflies of the Arabian Peninsula were reviewed at ameeting hosted by the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt, a key institution in the research the region’s biodiversity.   
  • The second freshwater shrimp assessment workshop was hosted by UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) in their decapod collection lab -all 120 neo-tropical specieswere assessed.   
  • Presentations on the Red List were made at a workshop in Noumea, New Caledonia on the conservation of the floristic diversity of New Caledonia.

World Heritage Committee, 24 June- 6 July, St Petersburg

The 36th World Heritage Committee is expected to allow fuller media access. For the first time,site reports, including IUCN’s evaluations of nominated sites, have been made public.   Chad, China, Central African Republic, Congo, Cameroon and Palau have nominated sites that have been evaluated and recommended for inscription by IUCN. 58 monitoring reports have been prepared by IUCN on conservation issues facing sites that will be discussed at the meeting.   Follow highlights as they happen on www.iucn.org

Additional lead issues for IUCN will focus on seeking the commitment of mining,oil and gas industries to conserve World Heritage Sites, following a new independent review involving JP Morgan, Shell, International Council on Mining and Metals, UNESCO and IUCN of the application of the policy that WH sites are no-go areas for mining, as well as a new report on IUCN World Heritage evaluation processes and the rights of communities and indigenous people.  Full info and background docs or contact Lisa.hadeed@iucn.org

IUCN Evaluation Report, Palau

Enter the IUCN – Thomson Reuters Environmental Media Award now!

The 2012 IUCN-Thomson Reuters Environmental Media Award is open to journalists and writers across the world, writing for any publication, website or blog. The winner will receive an all expenses paid trip to Jeju Island, South Korea to attend IUCN's 2012 World Conservation Congress.
To enter, all you have to do is submit your entry on theIUCN Facebook page and get your friends and readers to vote for you.

Jeju Seongsan Illchubong


Bring Back the Pollinators is based on four principles: grow pollinator-friendly flowers, provide nest sites, avoid pesticides, and spread the word. Take the Pledge to Protect Bees 


Western Ghats Portal project

The Western Ghats Portal team is happy to present the Observation Interface - a biodiversity observation recording module. This is a citizen science initiative, where users can upload species observations; collaboratively identify species; and contribute to enriching our understanding of biodiversity. The objective is to crowd source biodiversity information from scientists, amateurs and naturalists dispersed across various geographies. More info

Individuals can upload photos of species, mark the location of the observation and add notes.  The community can agree with the species identification or suggest a different species name; comment on the observation and can interact amongst their facebook networks. The crowd sourced information through the Observation interface will be curated for developing species pages and distribution maps, collectively enhancing our understanding of biodiversity.


Citizens’ views on biodiversity policies made available to policymakers

On Saturday September 15th 2012, thousands of people around the world will take part in a global event: “World Wide Views on Biodiversity” (WWViews) - an ambitious, global citizen participation project on global biodiversity policies and actions aiming to engage ordinary citizens in the process of policymaking and awareness raising to sustain a living and healthy planet. At least 100 citizens in each participating country will attend meetings to learn about biodiversity issues, make up their minds about them, and express their views. The meetings will start at dawn in the Pacific and will continue until dusk in the Americas. All will have the same agenda and approach making results comparable and useful for policymakers who will gather the following month in India for COP11 of the CBD. More on this innovative approach here

WWViews logo

Job Opportunity

 Head - Science and Knowledge Management, IUCN HQ Gland, Switzerland



Red Data Book for Cuban terrestrial vertebrates

The Instituto de Ecología y Sistemática has just published the first ever Red Data Book for Cuban terrestrial vertebrates. The book provides a detailed baseline on the conservation status for 165 species of freshwater fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. More info 


Red List of Rhododendrons

Rhododendrons are stunning horticultural plants, beloved of gardeners around the world and cultivated throughout temperate regions. In the wild they are mainly associated with centres of diversity in the Himalayas and in South East Asia, where they form important components of montane ecosystems. In total over 1000 species are recognised and the genus is subject to ongoing taxonomic debate. The Red List of Rhododendrons was published in 2011 by Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), the IUCN/SSC Global Tree Specialist Group and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.  More info and pdf download available


IUCN Publications

Mediterranean seagrass meadows : resilience and contribution to climate change mitigation, a short summary = Les herbiers de Magnoliophytes marines de Méditerranée : résilience et contribution à l’atténuation des changements climatiques, résumé (2012

Las praderas de Magnoliofitas marinas del mar Mediterráneo : resiliencia y contribución a la mitigación del cambio climático, resumen = Mediterranean seagrass meadows : resilience and contribution to climate change mitigation, a short summary (2012)

Mobilizing IUCN’s knowledge to secure a sustainable future : the IUCN knowledge management study (2004, IISD)

Strategic adaptive management guidelines for effective conservation of freshwater ecosystems in and around protected areas of the world (2012, IUCN WCPA Freshwater and Protected Areas Task Force/AWRC)

Water and the green economy : capacity development aspects (2012, UN-Water) 


Journal of Threatened Taxa

 The 42nd issue of the open access, peer reviewed, monthly, international Journal of Threatened Taxa (JoTT) is available online as free download.


Sadovy et al Fishing groupers towards extinction: a global assessment of threats and extinction risks in a billion dollar fishery


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


Logo for IUCN Red List

Agenda, Biosphere, Culture in Jeju

Read the newsletter of the Korean Organising Committee for the latest news about WCC, Jeju and Korea  - cultural events, where to go and what to see while in Korea.  Available here


Registration is now open

You can register now for the IUCN World Conservation Congress, taking place in Jeju, Republic of Korea, from 6 to 15 September 2012. Up to 8,000 leaders from governments, the public sector, non-governmental organizations, businesses, UN agencies and social organizations will discuss, debate and decide on solutions for the world’s most pressing environmental and development issues.

The Congress starts with the five-day Forum, a conservation debate hub that is open to all, featuring knowledge cafés, workshops, training courses, poster sessions and five high-profile World Leaders’ Dialogues. The Forum then leads into the three-day Members' Assembly, IUCN's highest decision-making body and a unique global environmental parliament of governments and NGOs. Visit the Congress website for full information on Registration and Forum events.  Français  I  Español

WCC V Jeju


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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


Do you work with IUCN Asia Regional Office?

The focal point for SSC in the Bangkok office and therefore your first point of contact in the IUCN Asia office is Scott PERKIN who is Head, Biodiversity Conservation Programme, Asia scott.perkin@iucn.org . 

The contacts for the other Commissions are: CEC Michael DOUGHERTY michael.dougherty@iucn.org, CEESP Rizvi ALI RAZA ali.raza@iucn.org, WCPA Hag-Young HEO hag-young.heo@iucn.org, CEL Ganesh PANGARE ganesh.pangare@iucn.org, CEM Maeve NIGHTINGALE maeve.nightingale@iucn.org


IUCN Water Programme Brochure

This neat little leaflet gives a succinct overview of all the activities and issues dealt with by the IUCN Water Programme working towards unlocking the potential for healthy river basins to build climate resilience and to sustain ecosystems and livelihoods.


IPBES newsletter

Everything you ever wanted to know about IPBES in English, French and Spanish click here


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