Improving knowledge on species

05 July 2012 | Project description

The project aims to increase information on the Red List, in order to assist Pacific island countries in identifying and developing species management strategies. 

 

Red Listing in the Pacific

BACKGROUND
The Pacific Islands region covers almost 15% of the world’s surface and is characterized by a high degree of ecosystem and species diversity as well as an extremely high level of endemicity (often over 90% for particular groups). The region has a high degree of economic and cultural dependence on the natural environment, and many conservation and development challenges: for example, rapid population growth often leading to over-harvesting of natural resources; high levels of threats by invasive species in island ecosystems; and vulnerability to the impacts of climate change.

SITUATION
Regional governments and NGOs have recognized the need for reliable and quality data on species, in order to conserve biodiversity at local and regional levels. There is therefore strong support for updating and improving information contained in the Red List as a foundation for successful conservation work in the region.

THE PROJECT
The project aims to increase information on the Red List, in order to assist Pacific island countries in identifying and developing species management strategies.

A review process was carried out, in order to examine the extent of species that had been assessed according to the IUCN Categories and Criteria. This was done by analyzing the 2008 IUCN Red List in relation to species found in the 24 countries and territories of the Pacific islands. The resulting document is “The Pacific Islands: An analysis of the status of species as listed on the 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™”. Not included in the Analysis are Australia and New Zealand, although reference is made to these countries in certain sections. The production of the Analysis and Appendices allowed us to see the status of species in the Pacific islands in 2008, as assessed using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria.

The review and analysis phase identified key taxonomic and geographical gaps on which to focus research efforts. For the initial phase of assessments for the region, fishes (marine and freshwater), reptiles and land snails will be the focal species groups.

OBJECTIVES
The main objective of the Oceania Species Programme is to increase our knowledge of species in the Pacific Islands, and update the IUCN Red List with information relating to Pacific Island species.

DURATION
Until 2012

DONORS
Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund and Fonds Pacifique.

MORE INFORMATION
Contact person for the project is Helen Pippard, helen.pippard@iucn.org