species e-bulletin

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

October 2012


Madagascar’s palms near extinction

Eighty three percent of Madagascar’s palms are threatened with extinction, putting the livelihoods of local people at risk – according to the latest update of The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ released by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The update brings the total number of species listed on The IUCN Red List to 65,518, of which 20,219 are threatened with extinction. Full story in English l French l Spanish

Majestic Palm (Ravenea rivularis)

Primates in peril – conservationists reveal the world’s 25 most endangered primates

The world’s 25 most endangered primates have been revealed in a new report released at the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity COP11. Primates in Peril: The World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates, 2012–2014 has been compiled by the Primate Specialist Group of IUCN’s Species Survival Commission (SSC) and the International Primatological Society (IPS), in collaboration with Conservation International (CI) and the Bristol Conservation and Science Foundation (BCSF). Full story in English

Grauer’s gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri) DRC

Largest salmon in the world edges toward extinction

An international team of scientists have released assessment reports on the precarious status of a group of Asian salmon, taimen, which are recognized as the largest species of salmon in the world. The reports conclude that all species of taimen are now listed as threatened or Data Deficient on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, and point to a host of ongoing and emerging threats, including habitat loss and over- harvest. Full story in English

A large Siberian Taimen (Hucho taimen) in Russia

Grand Cayman Blue Iguana takes step back from extinction

The Grand Cayman Blue Iguana (Cyclura lewisi) has taken a formal step back from extinction this year. The announcement comes with the latest update to The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, which was released in India by The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Full story in English

Grand Cayman Blue Iguana (Cyclura lewisii)

UN Biodiversity talks move forward but nature needs more

Despite good progress towards achieving the 2020 targets to halt the loss of biodiversity, efforts to conserve nature must be urgently scaled up if we want to meet the 2020 deadline to save all life on earth - says IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). Full story in English

Anjona, 13, lost her home to the rising sea in the Sunderbans, India

Amphibian Specialist Group

The ASG has launched a new campaign called Metamorphosis, an Award-winning visual initiative Inspired by amphibians and led by wildlife conservationists, Robin Moore and Gabby Wild. Find out more on the ASG website.

IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group

Invasive Species Specialist Group

A new agreement signed at CoP11 in India has pledged the support of the IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group to help combat invasive alien species that are threatening ecosystems and livelihoods. The Memorandum of Cooperation, was co-signed by; Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD); Jane Smart, Global Director IUCN Biodiversity Conservation Group; and Piero Genovesi, Chair of the IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) Full story in English

Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity; Jane Smart, Global Director IUCN Biodiversity Conservation Group; and Piero Genovesi, Chair of the IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group sign the agreement.

Marine Turtle Specialist Group

Kellie Pendoley, an IUCN SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group member based in Western Australia and working with industry to protect green and flatback turtles, along with her entire team was recently awarded the Golden Gecko Award. The award showcases companies that have raised the bar for environmental standards in WA and are working beyond regulatory compliance to set new industry standards for environmental protection and resources sector management. Read more here.

IUCN SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group logo

Polar Bear Specialist Group

A special meeting of the IUCN SSC Polar Bear Specialist Group took place 24 – 28 October 2012 in Oslo, Norway. At the meeting the group reinforced its role and commitment to providing the most rigorous and thorough science on polar bears, including policy and management decisions. Communication of polar bear information was also discussed, including the new “State of the Polar Bear” interactive map that allows visitors to explore the current population, habitats and threats to polar bears – see the map here. Full story in English

Polar bear

Shark Specialist Group

Securing the future for sawfishes - At the IUCN 2012 World Conservation Congress, the IUCN SSC Shark Specialist Group took the opportunity to promote sawfish conservation and build awareness with people who may be able to help stop sawfishes disappearing from our waters forever. Full story here.

Sawfish event in the Species Pavillion at the IUCN 2012 World Conservation Congress

Specialist Group Newsletters

A number of IUCN SSC Specialist Groups have recently published their newsletters. Click the links below to view them.

African Primates - IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group
Afrotheria Conservation - IUCN SSC Afrotheria Specialist Group
Conservation Breeding Specialist Group update
- IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Sirenews - IUCN SSC Sirenia Specialist Group
Suiform Soundings - IUCN SSC Pigs, Peccaries, and Hippos Specialist Groups
Pachyderm - IUCN SSC African Elephant, African Rhino and Asian Rhino Specialist Groups

Cover of froglog 104

Updates to IUCN SSC Members resources

A number of the Members Resources have been updated for the 2013 -2016 quadrennium. You can find the updated documents in the Members Area of the SSC pages on IUCN Species website.

SSC Chairs' Meeting group, Al Ain, UAE

SOS Partners and Grantees meet in Jeju to celebrate initial conservation successes

SOS - Save Our Species brought together its Secretariat and the grantees present in Jeju to discuss and showcase some of the conservation achievements from the SOS supported projects in the field. Full story in English

SOS - Save Our Species Grantees at the event during the IUCN 2012 World Conservation Congress

Spoon-billed sandpiper “headstarting” success

With only about 100 breeding pairs remaining in the wild, the Spoon-billed Sandpiper (Eurynorhynchus pygmeus) is in crisis. To help save this species from extinction, SOS – Save Our Species - are financially supporting an innovative conservation project to boost the numbers of juvenile Spoon-billed Sandpipers at their summer breeding grounds in Chukotka, Russia. Full story in English

Spoon-billed Sandpiper (Eurynorhynchus pygmeus) headstarting

More highlights from the latest IUCN Red List update

In the most recent update of The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, there were both new additions and changes to the status of species already listed. Good news included the rediscovery of two frog species and the downlisting of a number of species due to conservation efforts. However, of the 65,518 species on The IUCN Red List, 20,219 are assessed as “threatened”. Full story in English

Spiny Seahorse (Hippocampus histrix)

Raising the IUCN Red List profile for plants

An IUCN blog by Steve Bachman at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, explains what the Sampled Red List Index for Plants project is and how it was done. This blog is the latest in series written by winners of IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Awards that were presented at the SSC Chair’s meeting in Abu Dhabi in February 2012. Read Steve's blog here.

Sampled Red List Index for Plants team

Body-snatchers and vampires!

This Halloween, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) dug up some of the spookiest, creepiest species on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. Full story in English

Common Vampire Bat (Desmodus rotundus)

Biodiversity Conservation Training at the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation

The newly renamed Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation, a partnership between George Mason University and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), has announced their Spring/Summer 2013 course schedule. The School now offers more courses than ever before, in a wide range of topics, all focused on training in different aspects of biodiversity conservation, from effective conservation leadership, to technical tools in statistics and field sampling. See their website for more information and course details.


Masters in Conservation Leadership at the University of Cambridge

The course is a full-time, one year Masters, aimed at graduates of leadership potential with at least three to five years of experience relevant to biodiversity conservation. The unique feature of the course is its delivery by a collaboration between six University of Cambridge departments and nine leading conservation organizations based around Cambridge, and its focus on issues of management and leadership. A key aim of the course is to build the capacity of conservation leaders from tropical countries. Scholarship funding is available for the academic year beginning in October 2013. Applications for must be received by the 28th March or 1 December 2012 for those wishing to apply for funding from the Cambridge Trusts. Further details of the course and scholarships can be found here.


Durrell Conservation Academy

The Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust’s international training centre has now been renamed the Durrell Conservation Academy. The name change represents the culmination of a year-long process to determine how best to represent the training that we provide to conservationists worldwide. Since we first opened our doors in 1984 we have trained more than 3300 conservationists from 135 countries in the principles and practice of endangered species recovery. The Durrell Conservation Academy now runs a wide suite of courses, from practical training in invasive species management and GIS through to conservation leadership and project management. Find out more at their website.

Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust logo

Post-Graduate Diploma in Endangered Species Recovery

A new Post-Graduate Diploma in Endangered Species Recovery course will be launching in April 2013. This five month course will be run in collaboration with the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE) University of Kent and the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation. It will be delivered exclusively in Mauritius and will give participants the chance to gain first-hand experience of species conservation and monitoring through work in the field teams, as well as theoretical training in conservation biology and leadership. For more information visit the website or contact course director Jamie Copsey at jamie.copsey@durrell.org.


Natural Sounds Working Group

The IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas has set up a Natural Sounds Working Group to focus on understanding and regulating excessive noise as it affects protected areas and nature more generally. Many wildlife species are harmed by anthropogenic noise, and noise may be a factor in the decline of some threatened species. The working group is chaired by Karen Treviño, Chief, Natural Sounds and Dark Skies Division, U.S. National Park Service and both IUCN and non-IUCN members are welcome to contact her if they wish to participate in this new group. Please email Karen_Trevino@nps.gov if interested or visit the website.


New head of IUCN Science and Knowledge Management announced

IUCN is pleased to announce that Dr Thomas Brooks will be joining the Secretariat as Head – Science and Knowledge Management in the Global Policy and Programme Group in January 2013. Dr Brooks comes to IUCN from NatureServe in the US where he has served since 2010 as Vice-President for Science and Chief Scientist. Full story in English

Dr Thomas Brooks

Free access to Springer articles

Until 30 November 2012, Springer is offering free access to selected articles from journals on earth sciences, environmental sciences, food science, and social sciences. From food security to pastoralism, climate change to environmental monitoring and assessment, a wealth of peer-reviewed content is available, without requiring a log-in or registration. For more information or assistance in taking advantage of this resource, visit the Springer website.


Off the shelf

The latest information on IUCN publications including these titles:
- The status and distribution of freshwater biodiversity in Indo-Burma
- Application des carégories de gestion aux protégées: lignes directrices pour les aires marines
- Improving ecosystem functionality and livelihood: experiences in forest landscape restoration and management.
- Livelihoods and Landscapes Strategy: results and resolutions 
See the Off the Shelf newsletter for more information.


Journal of Threatened Taxa

26 October 2012 | 4(13): 3161-3232
The 50th issue of the Journal of Threatened Taxa is online at www.threatenedtaxa.org


Year of the Bat Autumn 2012 Newsletter

The sixth edition of the Year of the Bat newsletter focuses on the African region and is published by UNEP/CMS in English, French and Spanish. In addition to a field report from CMS Ambassador Ian Redmond, three articles summarize recent research results and activities of different bat conservation groups. New species and interesting facts are presented about bats with stories from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. Full newsletter in EnglishFrench I Spanish



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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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