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

September 2012


Stewart McPherson receives new Plant Conservation Award

The first recipient of the David Given Award for Excellence in Plant Conservation is Stewart McPherson, a member of the IUCN SSC Carnivorous Plant Specialist Group. Stewart is a passionate and dedicated field scientist, photographer, and writer. His efforts have resulted in an outstanding body of information useful to conservation of carnivorous plants both in situ and ex situ.  Stewart has climbed more than 200 mountains around the world to systematically document, study, and photograph rare, threatened, and little-known carnivorous plant species, identifying more than 35 species new to science, including the Nepenthes attenboroughii  Full story 

Stewart McPherson and Nepenthes palawanensis

Extinction of freshwater species in Northern Africa: a double loss

Freshwater ecosystems in northern Africa, like others throughout the world, support species that are of direct socio-economic importance to local communities, providing products such as food, construction and craft material, and medicines. However freshwater species in northern Africa also face some of the highest levels of threat in continental Africa, with 28% of all fishes, molluscs, crabs, dragonflies and damselflies, and aquatic plants threatened with extinction.  This is the first time that a study conducted at the species level collates and integrates information on the socio-economic value of freshwater species and the threats to those species in Northern Africa.  Full story  French l Spanish

> download pdf
Cover - Assessment of the socio-economic value of freswater species for the northern Africa region

The 100 most threatened species. Are they priceless or worthless?

Tarzan’s Chameleon, Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Pygmy Three-toed Sloth have all topped a new list of the species closest to extinction released by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature. SSC scientists have identified 100 of the most threatened animals, plants and fungi on the planet but fear they’ll be allowed to die out because none of these species provide humans with obvious benefits.  We have an important moral and ethical decision to make: Do these species have a right to survive or do we have a right to drive them to extinction?  Full story  Read the book online

Scaturiginichthys vermeilipinnis

Crunch time for Caribbean corals

 Time is running out for corals on Caribbean reefs. Urgent measures must be taken to limit pollution and regulate aggressive fishing practices that threaten the existence of Caribbean coral reef ecosystems, according to a new IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) report. Average live coral cover on Caribbean reefs has declined to just 8% of the reef today, compared with more than 50% in the 1970s according to the report’s findings. Furthermore, rates of decline on most reefs show no signs of slowing, although the deterioration of live coral cover on more remote reefs in the Netherlands Antilles, Cayman Islands and elsewhere is less marked—with up to 30% cover still surviving. Full story  Download report pdf

Two colonies of brain coral (Diploria strigosa) on Curacao affected by a coral disease called white plague

Poor fisheries management endangers sharks in the Coral Triangle

WWF and TRAFFIC have released a new report that shows the need for a more concerted effort in managing shark fisheries in the Coral Triangle, to help conserve dwindling populations of these threatened species. The report, An Overview of Shark Utilization in the Coral Triangle Region (PDF, 600 KB), examines the catch, trade, and management of sharks in waters of the six Coral Triangle countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Timor Leste, plus the neighbouring countries of Viet Nam and Fiji. Indonesia and Malaysia are among the top 20 shark catching nations in the world—Indonesia being the single largest catcher. Full story


Ocean acidity - new Google Earth tour

A new guide on ocean acidification and a new tour on Google Earth, showing the speed and scale of impact CO2 emissions will have on the ocean, is being launched today at The Ocean in a High CO2 World Symposium in Monterey, California. The tour that will fly the viewer around Google Earth to explain ocean acidification and its rapid effects on marine life and humanity was introduced at the event. The chemistry of one half of the Arctic Ocean, for example, will be changed by 2050 if CO2 levels continue to rise at current rates. Full story

Underwater coral

Traditional and wild in Brno

More than 30 participants met in September in Brno to assess their progress in implementing a “Traditional and Wild” project in Central Europe. The project focuses on the use of traditional medicinal plants in the region.  Project partners include TRAFFIC and WWF Hungary, who are securing sustainability in wild-plant harvesting and trade through implementation of theFairWild Standard


Armadillo alert! World Cup Football 2014 Mascot revealed

FIFA recently revealed that one of the most high-profile ambassadors of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ will be the three-banded armadillo (Tolypeutes tricinctus), a creature that is indigenous to Brazil.   It was proposed as the mascot of the FIFA World Cup by Associação Caatinga a Brazilian NGO working in the area where this charismatic species occurs. The Anteater, Sloth & Armadillo SG has joined this NGO as a partner in the campaign and one of FIFA's key objectives through the 2014 FIFA World Cup is to use the event as a platform to communicate the importance of the environment and ecology. Full story

IUCN SSC Anteater, Sloth & Armadillo Specialist Group

Conservation Breeding

The Conservation Breeding Specialist Group’s Annual Meeting will take place 4-7 October in Melbourne, Australia. This year's theme is Facilitating Integration in Support of the One Plan Approach, which will be pursued through the CBSG meeting format of brief plenary sessions followed by facilitated working groups in which all delegates contribute their skills and experience to help address current conservation challenges. For live updates from the meeting, you can follow CBSG on Twitter @IUCN_CBSG and check our Facebook page. Visit the CBSG website for more information about the Annual Meeting.

IUCN SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group

Invasive Species

 Aliens: The Invasive Species Bulletin Issue Number 32, 2012 is now available online with All the news from the ISSG as well as articles on:
• Wild Hippos in Colombia
• Identification and distribution of non-indigenous species in the Mediterranean Sea
• The management and control of the California kingsnake in Gran Canaria (Canary Islands)
• rodent eradication experiences on Mediterranean islands
• collaborative identification and information platform on invasive plants in French Overseas Territories
• Occurrence of major invasives in Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, India

IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group

Aldabra Goat Free! - From The Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF)

After more than a century of unwillingly playing host to an invasion of goats that threatened the unique Aldabra ecosystem, Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF) is delighted to announce that the UNESCO World Heritage Site atoll is now free of goats.  A team of Aldabra staff successfully tracked and shot the last remaining goat in August, bringing to an end a decades long campaign to remove one of the most destructive of introduced species from the fragile atoll ecosystem.  Full story


IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group website launched

The IUCN SSC recently re-formed Pangolin Specialist Group has launched a new website devoted to pangolin conservation and research. Pangolins, also known as scaly anteaters, are insect-eating mammals found in Asia and Africa. They are predominantly nocturnal and are elusive and secretive.  Two species, the Chinese Pangolin (Manis pentadactyla) and Malayan Pangolin (Manis javanica) are listed as Endangered on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Full story  PangolinSG website

Malayan Pangolin (Manis javanica) 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species status: Endangered

South American Camelid

Chair Gabriela Lichtenstein makes the case for the economic benefit of guanacos in a BBC article. Read more(spanish)



A full report on the Cat SG activities for 2011/12 is now available online.  It includes comprehensive reports on the species assessment and conservation activities of the group as well as initiatives to develop capacity and to provide services to members. Cat SG Activitiy Report  

IUCN SSC Cat Specialist Group


Gnusletter Volume 30 Number 2 September 2012 is now available

This issue includes news on  Mai Mai Rebels Overun Okapi Wildlife Reserve Headquarters, Tin Toumma National Nature and Cultural Reserve,  Boma National Park Headquarters inauguration,  Antelopes in S. Somalia,  The Natural and Unnatural History of the Mountain Nyala, Jentink’s Duiker Camera Trap Photos in Sierra Leone,  Notes on the antelopes of Iraq

IUCN SSC Antelope Specialist Group

Boa and Python

"There is so much to do to protect pythons and boas,” says Tomás Waller, Chair of the new IUCN Species Survival Commission Specialist Group dedicated to these species. Here he talks about their threats and what needs to be done to ensure a future for these iconic reptiles.  Full story and interview

IUCN SSC Boa & Python Specialist Groups

Seahorse, Pipefish & Stickleback transformed into an SG

The SSC Steering Committee has agreed that the Seahorse, Pipefish & Stickleback Red List Authority will transform into a full Specialist Group which to all intents and purposes will be run by Project Seahorse. This will be reflected in the specific TORs for the new SPSSG.  Project Seahorse website


CITES Meeting Summary Reports from 2012 and upcoming CITES CoP16 meeting in March 2013

Here are reports of IUCN participation in the CITES Committee meetings in 2012

26th CITES Animals Committee Meeting Summary – March 15-20, 2012

20th Cites Plants Committee Meeting Summary - March 22-30, 2012

62nd CITES Standing Committee Meeting Summary - August 23-27 2012

We have indicated which agenda items relate to specific Specialist Groups where possible.

IUCN is also in the early phases of preparation for the upcoming CITES CoP16 meeting that will take place March 2013 in Thailand. For more information on the agenda for CITES CoP16, please see the Standing Committee report above (agenda item 10.2.2 and 10.2.3). IUCN and TRAFFIC will again undertake the “Analyses of the Proposals to Amend the Appendices” project for CoP16 during October- December 2012. We will be contacting some Specialist Groups in this regard as well as for preparation of CITES CoP16 more generally. For more information on CITES and its meetings, see www.cites.org


IUCN and Microsoft form unique partnership to tackle species extinction

Microsoft and IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, jointly have formed a new partnership to further strengthen the information available on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. This collaboration sees Microsoft becoming the first corporate member of The IUCN Red List Partnership. Specifically, Microsoft will provide a combination of scientific expertise and new technologies to more accurately understand current and future extinction threats to the world’s plant, fungi and animal species, thus enabling better conservation policy frameworks to be devised. This new partnership formalizes work that the two organizations have been exploring together since the International Year of Biodiversity in 2010. Full story

Red List logo

The Starting Point for Conservation Action

This new A5 format brochure provides clear information about what The IUCN Red List is and how it is being used to guide scientific research and to inform policy decisions and conservation action on the ground.  Designed to be clear, attractive and concise it should be used as a resource to raise funds to support our Red List work.

> Download pdf
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Brochure

ARKive announce Invertebrate Photography Competition winner

We have been working with the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), IUCN and the IUCN Species Survival Commission to help highlight the plight of the world's invertebrates in our joint Invertebrate Photography Competition. Your response has been overwhelming and with so many fantastic photographs of splendid snails, fabulous flies and majestic mantids, the judges found choosing the finalists and overall winner a difficult but enjoyable task. 

After much deliberation, we are pleased to announce the winner of the Invertebrate Photography Competition and a two-day pass to this year's WildPhotos is... Mark Bertolini, Six-spot burnet moths (Zygaena carniolica) gathered on grass seed heads.  full story and some great photos

June newsletter from ARKive - subscribe!

Alliance for Zero Extinction's 7 Wonders: cast your vote

To raise awareness regarding the plight of the nearly one thousand species found at only one remaining site, AZE is highlighting a list of twenty representative sites and species from which the top seven will be voted on by the public. Criteria included even geographic and taxonomic distribution as well as the charisma and attractiveness of the species.  Vote for your 7 favorites to select the flagship AZE sites for 2012


Conservation Leadership Programme 2013 Awards: call for applications

The Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP) is currently soliciting applications for 2013 Conservation Awards. These awards are aimed at early-career conservationists (no more than 5 years professional experience in the conservation sector).  Successful applicants will: 1) develop the knowledge, skills and abilities of team members; 2) implement a focused, high-priority conservation project combining research and action; and 3) contribute to the long-term success of local conservation efforts. Full information


What is Success in Amphibian Conservation?

Helen Meredith, PhD candidate Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (University of Kent) & Institute of Zoology (Zoological Society of London) is investigating perceptions of success in conservation among people involved in amphibian research and conservation practice around the world. Understanding better how scientists and practitioners view conservation success will hopefully help improve the development of conservation programmes and their long-term impact.

Please visit this survey to give your views on what 'success' means in amphibian conservation: Please complete by October 15th 2012. contact helen.meredith@zsl.org


Whitley Awards 2013: deadline for applications 31 October

The Whitley Awards are a world-renowned wildlife conservation prize providing significant profile boost and worth £35,000 in project funding over one year. Eight awards are available in 2013. If you know of a conservation leader who you believe should apply for the Whitley Award, please ask him or her to visit the WFN website  for details of how to apply. Successful applicants will receive funding in June 2013.


Conference on the Biology and Conservation of Wild Mustelids. 18-21 March 2013. WildCRU, Oxford

Organised jointly by the Otter SG and the Small Carnivore SG.  Details here or register your interest by emailing mustelid.conference@zoo.ox.ac.uk


European Otter Workshop April 17-19, 2013 . Kinsale, Ireland

 email for more information: europeanotter2013@gmail.com


11th International Mammalogical Congress. 11-16 August, 2013. Belfast, Ireland

Queen's University Belfast is pleased to host the 11th International Mammalogical Congress on behalf of the International Federation of Mammalogists and The Mammal Society.  Details here


Job opportunity

Bat Conservation International, Washington DC is looking for an Executive Director - details here


Conserving dryland biodiversity

The object of this publication is to raise awareness amongst all stakeholders and galvanise wider action to boost drylands conservation and development. The book includes new analyses of drylands biodiversity and an overview of approaches to promote sustainable development. It underlines the importance of indigenous knowledge and culture to dryland conservation, and demonstrates an unrivalled opportunity for sustainable growth and biodiversity protection.

> Download PDF
Conserving Dryland Biodiversity Book

Species Magazine no. 54

Species is the magazine of the IUCN Global Species Programme and the IUCN Species Survival Commission. This Quadrennium edition provides a full report on the activities and achievements all of the SSC Specialist Groups, Red List Authorities, Committees and Task Forces as well as the Global Species Programme during the 2009-2012 reporting period.

> Download PDF of Species Magazine
Species 54

Journal of Threatened Taxa

September 2012 | Vol. 4 | No. 11 | Pages 2993–3084
Date of Publication 26 September 2012 (online & print)

An additional issue (47th issue) of the Journal of Threatened Taxa is published online at www.threatenedtaxa.org . In keeping with JoTT's policy of minimizing lag time for publication after final acceptance, this stand-alone issue on Butterflies of the Garo Hills is published as a supplementary issue in September. 


IUCN World Conservation Congress, 6-15 September 2012

Visit the Congress website for reports, information, videos and interviews from the event.  Français  I  Español 

We hope to compile a special Species e-bulletin on Congress in the coming days, so look out for this in your inbox.

WCC V Jeju


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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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