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

September 2011


Experts Identify World’s Most Threatened Sea Turtle Populations

Marine Turtle Specialist Group (MTSG) members from around the globe have discovered that almost half (45%) of the world’s threatened sea turtle populations are found in the northern Indian Ocean. The study also determined that the most significant threats across all of the threatened populations of sea turtles are fisheries bycatch, accidental catches of sea turtles by fishermen targeting other species, and the direct harvest of turtles or their eggs for food or turtle shell material for commercial use. The recent report, produced by IUCN (MTSG) and supported by Conservation International (CI) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), is the first comprehensive status assessment of all sea turtle populations globally. The study, designed to provide a blueprint for conservation and research, evaluated the state of individual populations of sea turtles and determined the 11 most threatened populations, as well as the 12 healthiest populations.  Full story

> Map of the world's 11 most threatened sea turtle populations
> Map of the world's 12 healthiest sea turtle populations
A marine turtle in the Red Sea, Egypt

Collateral damage: Western Ghats freshwater species in peril

Freshwater species in the Western Ghats, India, are being sacrificed as collateral damage in the race for rapid economic development. For the first time, comprehensive data are available on the conservation status and distribution of all freshwater fishes, molluscs, dragonflies, damselflies and aquatic plants across peninsular India. Water pollution from agricultural and urban sources, overharvesting and invasive species are the major threats that have led to 16% of freshwater species in the region for which we have sufficient data being classified as threatened with extinction on The IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM. Alarmingly, the centre of threat is within the Western Ghats Biodiversity Hotspot, one of the Earth’s most biodiverse areas, running along western peninsular India.  Full story

Miss Kerala (Puntius denisonii)

Whales & dolphins need more protected areas

 A new book, Marine Protected Areas for Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises is released, calling for accelerated efforts to conserve marine mammals by protecting a greater area of the ocean. Currently only 1.3% of the ocean is protected but many new Marine Protected Areas are being created. Erich Hoyt, the book’s author and member of  IUCN’s Cetacean Specialist Group, examines current and future developments in ocean protection.  Full story

Breaching western gray whale

Regional cooperation essential to conserve plant biodiversity in Asia

A new assessment of plant conservation calls for greater regional collaboration in documentation and conservation in Asia. Regional cooperation in conserving plant diversity is essential to halt the overall loss of biodiversity in Asia, says the report Asian Plant Conservation Report 2010: A Review of Progress in Implementing the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, that was launched on the second day of the 5th Asia Regional Conservation Forum (RCF) in Incheon, Republic of Korea. It is the product of a collaboration between IUCN Councillor Professor Ma Keping, former director of the Institute of Botany, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the IUCN Asia Regional Office.  Full story

Flowers of Balochistan

National Action Plan for Conservation of Gibbons welcomed in Vientiane

The Government of Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) has taken a further step to demonstrate its commitment to protecting globally important biodiversity by launching a national action plan for the conservation of gibbons.  Throughout their range gibbons are under considerable threat, often restricted to isolated patches of forest within a region with some of the highest human population densities in the world, namely South-East Asia. It is a poorly known fact that Lao PDR is one of the most species-rich countries in the world when it comes to gibbons.  Full story


White-handed gibbon (Hylobates lar)

Staff on the move

 Emma Brooks from the Freshwater Biodiversity Unit in Cambridge and Cristiane Elfes in the Biodiversity Assessment Unit in the US have both left recently to start PhD studies.  Kathryn Pintus leaves IUCN in Gland to take up a new position with ARKive, one of our Red List partner organisations.  Thanks to Emma, Cristiane and Kathryn and we wish you all well in your new endeavours.


Deadline for Nominations of the SSC Chair – October 31st

The SSC Steering Committee has now appointed a 3 person ad hoc Committee to receive nominations from SSC members for candidates for election as SSC Chair at the next World Conservation Congress. More information on the process of Congress elections can be found here. The current Chair, Simon Stuart, will finish his first term in 2012 and is willing to stand for re-election – Commission Chairs may serve for a maximum of two consecutive terms.  Please email your nominations, which will be handled confidentially, to:
Jon Paul Rodríguez, Deputy Chair of SSC, jonpaul.rodriguez@gmail.com Danna Leaman, SSC Steering Committee member, djl@green-world.org Andrew Rosenberg, SSC Steering Committee member, arosenberg@conservation.org


2012 Conservation Leadership Programme Awards

These awards are aimed at early-career conservationists (no more than 5 years professional experience in the conservation sector).
Successful applicants will:

  • develop the knowledge, skills and abilities of team members;
  • implement a focused, high-priority conservation project combining research and action; and
  • contribute to the long-term success of local conservation efforts.

Visit the CLP website for eligibility guidelines and an application form.  Deadline 18th November 2011


Terraviva Grants

A reminder that this is an excellent source of grant information on the Terraviva grant website. The website lists funds available by monthly deadlines. Many grants are species or country specific. www.terravivagrants.org


Loss of the Night research project

 Light has a profound effect on the behavioral patterns of most living organisms. The “Loss of the Night” research project being led from the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries in Germany is investigating reasons for the increasing illumination of the night as well as its ecological, health, cultural and socioeconomic effects. Results will help in the development of improved lighting concepts and sustainable technologies. More info 


European Biodiversity Observation Network (EBONE)

The purpose of the EBONE project being led by Alterra, Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands is to develop an integrated Biodiversity Monitoring System for Europe, based on key biodiversity indicators. Currently, national and regional agencies in Europe have different and uncoordinated approaches, so there is a need to develop a coherent system for data collection that can be used for assessments at the European scale. For more information


SCALES (Securing the Conservation of biodiversity across Administrative Levels and spatial, temporal and Ecological Scales)

The objective of SCALES, a project being led by the Helmholz Centre for Environmental Research in Germany, is to identify the most appropriate assessment tools and policy instruments in the EU across ecological scales and administrative levels and to disseminate them to a wide range of users. The initiative develops and evaluates new methods to provide environmental, ecological and socio-economic information at relevant and matching scales. It tests the most promising approaches, methods and policy instruments across the EU, using regional case studies focusing on the UK, Finland, Poland, France and Greece. For more information


X Congreso Internacional de Manejo de Fauna Silvestre en la Amazonía y Latinoamérica, 14-18 mayo 2012

El X Congreso Internacional de Manejo de Fauna Silvestre en la Amazonía y Latinoamérica, se llevará a cabo en la ciudad de Salta, Argentina del 14 al 18 de mayo de 2012 en instalaciones de la Casa de la Cultura, CentroCultural América y la Fundación 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 el Neotrópico.   más información 


Equator Prize 2012

The Equator Initiative is pleased to announce the call for nominations for the Equator Prize 2012, which will recognize 25 outstanding local initiatives that are working to advance sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. The 25 recipients of the Equator Prize 2012 will each receive $5,000 (USD), with 10 selected for special recognition and a total of $20,000 (USD). Representatives of winning communities will participate in the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), which will be held in Brazil in June 2012. Full info


IPBES - The first Plenary

The first session of a plenary meeting on IPBES convened by UNEP is scheduled from 3-7 October 2011, and will be held in Nairobi, Kenya.
This meeting is the first step of the 2011/2012 process for establishing IPBES following the Resolution of the UN General Assembly in December 2010 and the Decision of the UNEP Governing Council last February to consider modalities and arrangements to fully operationalize the platform at the earliest opportunity.  The IUCN Secretariat will attend the meeting and will be co-facilitating a one-day workshop with the International Council for Science (ICSU/DIVERSITAS) on IPBES for Major Groups and other Multi-stakeholders prior to the Conference. This workshop will be held on 2 October at UNEP-HQ. IUCN documents are available on www.iucn.org/ipbes and all official documents on the first session are available on the UNEP website for IPBES: http://ipbes.net/index.php


CMS Newsletter

The July/August edition includes news on 
• Albatross and Petrel agreement meeting discusses bird census methods, diseases and listing of Shearwater
• Dugong conservation gathers momentum in South East Asia
• Wadden Sea Day 2011: Fish play a key role in the Wadden Sea food web
• Launch of the Pacific Cetaceans MOU diversity database 

Click here for English, French and Spanish versions


Pachyderm 49

The latest edition of the Journal of the African Elephant, African Rhino and Asian Rhino Specialist Groups is now online here


International Year of Forests bibliography

As part of a celebration of the International Year of Forests, publishers Taylor & Francis and Routledge have compiled a collection of articles entitled “Celebrating Forests for People.” This collection includes more than 70 online, full-text articles from more than 50 journals, available for free to anyone, worldwide. The full bibliography, with links to individual articles, is available here: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/access/YearofForests.pdf


Off the Shelf

Click here for the latest information on IUCN publications 

Off the shelf newsletter

Journal of Threatened Taxa

The 34th issue of the Journal of Threatened Taxa is available online as free download at www.threatenedtaxa.org


Other IUCN publications

 • Parque nacional de Alhucemas : guía para la producción sostenible de plantas forestales, aromáticas y medicinales (2011) (http://www.iucn.org/dbtw-wpd/edocs/2011-034.pdf)


Data evaluation begins for Pacific Islands reptiles, land snails and freshwater fishes

As part of the ongoing process to improve and strengthen our knowledge of Pacific Island species, a group of 12 local, regional and international scientists came together on 12 - 16 September to attend an IUCN Red List evaluation workshop at the IUCN Oceania Regional Office in Suva, Fiji.  Full story


Logo for IUCN Red List

Reminder - Call for Contributions for the Forum

The Call for Contributions for the Forum segment of the 2012 IUCN World Conservation Congress is open! The Congress will take place 6-15 September 2012, in Jeju, Korea and you are invited to propose events for the Forum, the part of Congress which is open to all (7-11September 2012). Read the instructions carefully before submitting your event, to ensure you maximize the chance of your proposal being selected. Click here for the latest updates and information about the Congress, and to access the Call for Contributions. The call will remain open until 15 October 2011.

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The Nature of Progress - IUCN's Annual Report 2010

How is IUCN helping us move towards a sustainable world? How are we promoting natural solutions to global challenges such as climate change and food security? IUCN’s annual report for 2010 highlights a range of activities, results and progress made towards our conservation objectives. Visit the website to learn more and download the full report in English, French and Spanish

Annual report 2010

News from the regions and other programmes

 • IUCN Mediterranean Flashnews - Summer 2011 (English, Français, Español)

 • Building Bridges: News and Views on Conservation and Private Sector, September 2011

IUCN Asia News, July-August 2011

Mangroves for the Future Newsletter, no. 22, July-August 2011  


Water and Nature Initiative (WANI)

On World Rivers Day, the IUCN Water Programme launched its new Water and Nature Initiative (WANI) website! A treasure trove of integrated water resource management knowledge - please visit: www.waterandnature.org


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