species e-bulletin

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

April 2012


New SOS Call for Proposals for Threatened Species Grants - Heads up!

The second Call for Proposals for SOS - Save Our Species will be issued in the next days.  Applications for Threatened Species Grants will be accepted for the following Strategic Directions:
• Threatened tropical Asian vertebrates
• Threatened small marine mammals
• Threatened cycads
• Threatened freshwater African animals

Detailed information for applicants, including eligibility criteria will be posted shortly on the SOS website. For further information on SOS and the application process.

Save our Species logo

Top global platform on biodiversity and its benefits established

After years of international negotiations, the final design of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) was agreed upon during the Second Plenary Session to build IPBES held in Panama City, Panama, from 16-21 April 2012. “Biodiversity won!” says Professor Sir Robert Watson, Chair of the meeting, Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). “Over 90 governments successfully established the science-policy interface for all countries. Biodiversity and ecosystem services are essential for human wellbeing. This platform will generate the knowledge and build the capacity to protect them for this and future generations.”  Full story 

There will be a workshop on IPBES and the Red List at the forthcoming IUCN World Conservation Congress. Entitled How IPBES can bring us further in conserving world´s biodiversity? click here for more info 


Large pangolin seizure highlights timeliness of re-forming IUCN-SSC Pangolin Specialist Group

The seizure of 71 pangolins being transported without documentation in Vietnam has highlighted that the formation of the IUCN SSC Pangolin Specialist Group has come at an important time.  Full story  More on Pangolins

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

Save Our Species funds Mangrove Finch project on Galapagos Islands

Swen Lorenz, Chief Executive of the Charles Darwin Foundation, an IUCN member organization, visited IUCN HQs in order to sign a grant agreement with SOS - Save Our Species to protect the Mangrove Finch (Camarhynchus heliobates) which is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The Mangrove Finch is the rarest of the 13 species of Darwin Finches with an estimated remaining population of 100 individuals found only in two locations on the Galapagos Islands.  Full story

SOS 2011A-023 mangrove finch cdf

Asian Vultures fly back from the brink of extinction

Once described as possibly the most abundant large bird of prey in the world, the Critically Endangered White-rumped Vulture (Gyps bengalensis) has suffered a population decline of more than 99.9% in just 15 years.  As scavengers, vultures have an important ecological role and these population declines have serious consequences for humans and the environment. Between 1992 and 2007, a large-scale decline in vulture numbers was observed across Asia and the White-rumped Vulture was not the only victim. These declines have been directly attributed to the veterinary use of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac, ingested by vultures that ate carcasses of cattle that had recently been treated with the drug.  Full story  SOS project  

White-rumped Vulture (Gyps bengalensis)

And a call to save Africa’s vulture populations from extinction

A Pan-African Vulture Summit has urged governments to conserve and reduce threats to vultures across the continent. The Summit resolved to respectfully urge the governments of countries in Africa, and particularly the national custodians of wildlife in these countries to, among other things, ensure appropriate levels of protection and management for vultures and their breeding sites. Governments have also been called upon to legislate and enforce stringent measures to prosecute and impose harsh penalties on perpetrators of poisoning and those illegally trading in vultures and/or their body parts. Full story

African White-backed Vulture_Ad_Flight_Moholoholo

TRAFFIC launches sustainable wild harvested medicinal plant project in Viet Nam

TRAFFIC in co-ordination with the Bac Kan Forest Protection Department (FPD), has launched its first project in Viet Nam to protect plants that rural communities rely upon for traditional medicine. The plants targeted by the project are threatened by unsustainable harvesting and habitat destruction. The project in the South Xuan Lac Species and Habitat Conservation Area in northern Viet Nam will implement the FairWild Standard, guidelines drawn up to ensure the sustainability of wild medical and aromatic plant harvesting. Full story



Communities rewarded as conservation ambassadors

Newly created community-based organizations were rewarded for their efforts to protect the Critically Endangered Golden Mantella (Mantella aurantiaca) during a festival attended by government representatives and members of the local population. The event was held in the town of Moramanga in the Moramanga District in Madagascar where the habitat of the endemic Golden Mantella frog is threatened by logging, mining and slash and burn agriculture. An SOS-Save Our Species project supports Madagasikara Voakajy, a national conservation organization, working with community organizations that manage the Mangabe forest and the Malagasy authorities in their efforts to monitor, and conserve, the key breeding ponds of the Golden Mantella.  Full story and project details

The Golden Mantella (Mantella aurantiaca)

Looking back on 29 years of elephant and rhino conservation

To commemorate 50 issues of the Pachyderm journal, which began in 1983 as the African Elephant and Rhino Group Newsletter, a special 50th issue has been produced by the IUCN SSC African Elephant, African Rhino and Asian Rhino Specialist Groups. With the objective of engaging everyone involved in elephant and rhino conservation, Pachyderm has expanded over the years to become a forum for the IUCN SSC African Elephant and African and Asian Rhino Specialist Groups to share news and research results with a broad audience.  Download your copy here

Pachyderm - Special 50th Issue

Most Pacific species still unknown as only 5% assessed

The Pacific is blessed with amazing ecosystems and species diversity, but scientists say that there is still not enough known about species from this region to adequately inform conservation efforts for them. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species contains global assessments for 4907 species from the Pacific Islands. This figure is actually very small and represents only about 5% of the estimated number of known species for the region.  Full story

Fiji Crested Iguana - Yadua Taba, Fiji.


The first IUCN OSG Workshop for Latin American Otter Research & Conservation will be held in Corumba, MS, Brazil from 23-26 June 2012.  Click OSGWorkshop for information.


Conservation Breeding

  • The latest CBSG News update is available online. 
  • Mark you diary with the dates for CBSG’s 2012 Annual Meeting which will be held in Melbourne, Australia, 4-7 October 2012.
  • Read former Chair, Robert Lacy's post "Innovation for Conservation" on the IUCN blog.

Sustainable Use - introducing SULi

In recent months a new collaboration between the Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy and the Species Survival Commission has been taking shape. The Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group, or SULi, is a cross-Commissional Specialist Group focused on the sustainable use of wild living resources. Sustainable use (SU) of biodiversity is a critical area of work for IUCN for many reasons: to safeguard the resources underpinning community livelihoods; to promote equitable sharing of the benefits of use of biodiversity; to address widespread overexploitation; and as a tool to generate incentives for conservation.   Full story


Invasives at the Pacific Island Species Forum, Honiara

Invasive alien species (IAS) are a global concern as they threaten biodiversity, health, food security, tourism and trade. Island ecosystems are most vulnerable to the impacts of IAS. Scientists say that 50%-67% of extinctions of terrestrial species on islands have been caused by the impacts of IAS. "The threat is more severe on islands as many are biodiversity hotspots," says Ms Shyama Pagad, Manager, Information Services, IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group speaking at the Pacific Islands Species Forum in Honiara, Solomon Islands. “Many native species of Pacific Island countries and Territories are endangered and many more will suffer the impacts of invasive species if governments do not react accordingly".   Full story

Invasive predator snail (Euglandina rosea) feeding on an endemic snail species in French Polynesia


Read Cetacean SG Chair Randy Reeves' recent post "Steering the right course for Cetacean Conservation" on the IUCN Blog.


Add Red List Facebook & AmazingSpecies Twitter icons to your email signature

As you may know the Species Programme has a thriving Twitter account (@AmazingSpecies) and IUCN Red List Facebook page. We are using these social media sites to share news coming from the SSC, IUCN Global Species Programme and the IUCN Red List to over 8,000 Twitter followers and 1,300 Facebook followers. If you are not already following us please do come and join us!  If you would like to help us promote these pages there are hyperlinked icons available that you can add to your email signature.  Contact camellia.williams@iucn.org if you would like a copy of these. 

Facebook & Twitter

Beautiful images of invertebrates needed - competition

ZSL is working on a collaborative project with SSC and ARKive to help highlight the plight of the world’s invertebrates. The aim is to help bring invertebrate conservation onto the international agenda and to increase the availability of high quality images of invertebrates for conservation purposes. This is in line with ARKive’s mission to promote the conservation of the world’s threatened species through the power of wildlife imagery. Submit your beautiful images to ARKive for the chance to win an exciting prize! Details and how to enter

An insect in Madagascar

New Staff

Introducing Alice Groom, who joined the Freshwater Biodiversity Unit in Cambridge the start of April as Junior Professional Associate.  She has a First Class honours degree in Geography and after graduating Alice worked on the Sampled Red List Index (for Plants) at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew (a Red List Partner). Her main role as a volunteer was to digitize and georeference herbarium specimens in order to map species distributions.  During her two years at Kew Alice specialized in the Leguminosae of South and Central America and conducted approximately 400 assessments. Alice was also involved in mapping plant species distributions as part of the IUCN-led Albertine Rift project.

See the full FBU team and their projects on the FBU webpages


Timeline records Red List Milestones

If you haven't logged on the the Red List Facebook page then you should have a look now.  An interesting timeline has been created charting the major events and publications since the Red List was created over 50 years ago. 

Red List Logo

Red List Mapping

IUCN recently welcomed Jack Dangermond, Founder of Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri), and a man with a vision that computer mapping and analysis could help design a better future. He explained that through the creation of cutting-edge Geographic Information System (GIS) and GeoDesign technologies, we can now view, understand, question, interpret, and visualize data in many ways that reveal relationships, patterns, and trends in the form of maps, reports, and charts—all of which are very important to conservation work! 
Thousands of organizations use GIS to solve problems and improve processes—including the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Check out http://maps.iucnredlist.org/  for a great example of how data collaboration can produce meaningful scientific tools.

IUCN Red List Logo

AZE Extinction Perceptions Poll

The Alliance for Zero Extinction are running a very brief survey to gain a better understanding of how the extinction issue is perceived in the conservation and biological communities to gauge if there is a difference between perception and reality.  Click here to participate now - it will take less than two minutes (only 3 questions).


World Migratory Bird Day 12-13 May

The World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) 2012 campaign team is excited to announce the release of this year’s campaign trailer! The two-minute animated video helps explain this year’s theme Migratory birds and people – together through time, and is inspired by the 2012 WMBD Poster. It aims to enhance the viewers’ understanding of migratory birds and their relevance for mankind. 
World Migratory Bird Day 2012 celebrates the cultural, social, historic, economic and spiritual connections we have with birds.  Full info in English, French and Spanish on the WMBD website.

World Migratory Bird Day logo

Conservation activities could prevent migratory birds from vanishing reveal experts

The Pashua- Tanguar Haors of Bangladesh are home to many threatened birds, some globally threatened and thousands of migratory and residential birds. However the number of migratory birds is drastically declining from the Haor basin of Bangladesh every year revealed Enam Ul Haque, President of Bangladesh Bird Club at a recent round table discussion on Avian Biodiversity Conservation of Pashua-Tanguar Haor.  Full story

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

EU biodiversity strategy 2020 in a nutshell

The European Commission has published a Brochure and a Factsheet containing the most important information on the EU Biodiversity strategy to 2020. On 3 May 2011, the European Commission adopted a new strategy to halt the loss of biodiversity and improve the state of Europe’s species, habitats, ecosystems and the services they provide over the next decade, while stepping up the EU’s contribution to averting global biodiversity loss. It lays down the policy foundations for EU-level action over the next ten years.
Full story and Download pdf


Frontiers in Ecology cover story features SSC Dragonfly work

Dragonfly SG Chair Viola Clausnitzer is lead author of the cover article in the latest edition of Frontiers in Ecology Volume 10, Issue 3 (April 2012).  The paper Focus on African freshwaters: hotspots of dragonfly diversity and conservation concern is the first continent-wide overview of insect diversity and status sufficiently fine-scaled to be used in conservation planning. Read More: http://www.esajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1890/110247


Hidden Wonders – “The Small 5005” of southern Africa

This handsome coffee-table book published by Jacana Media displays over 250 close-up macro images  by Dan Lieberman of the the fascinating diversity of insect, spider, reptile and frog species existing in southern Africa. The accompanying text written by Rael Loon provides interesting insight into a number of the species featured.  While the book is not a taxonomically comprehensive reference it succeeds in promoting the broader conservation value of biodiversity in general.  See TheSmall5005 for more comprehensive species lists and associated conservation issues.


GBIF Annual Report 2011

 The 2011 Annual Report of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility provides a summary of the development and use of this growing data facility over the past 12 months. 


Convention on Migratory Species News Bulletin

The latest CMS bulletin is available for download and includes articles on:
• Niger Creates Africa’s Largest Protected Area to Save the World‘s Rarest Desert Species
• New Project to Save the Critically Endangered Cross River Gorilla

• Ecological Networks in Africa: A Case Study on the Transboundary Migration Corridor between Ethiopia and Southern Sudan
• Central Asian Countries Develop Road Map towards Transboundary Conservation of Argali
• IOSEA Meeting Charts a Course for Marine Turtle Conservation in the Indian Ocean


Journal of Threatened Taxa

APRIL 2012 | Vol. 4 | No. 4 | Pages 2481-2552 Date of Publication 26 April 2012.  

Available online


IUCN publications

Off the Shelf April 2012  -  details of the latest IUCN publications

IUCN business engagement strategy (2012)

 IUCN UK Commission of Inquiry on Peatlands (2011, IUCN UK Committee Peatland Programme)

IUCN knowledge products : the basis for a partnership to support the functions and work programme of IPBES (2012) 


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

IUCN World Conservation Congress, 6-15 September 2012


Participants are invited to register online and can take advantage of an Early Bird fee by registering before 5 July. The online registration system guides you through each step, describes the different categories of participation and the corresponding entitlements. Choose IUCN Member only if you are representing an IUCN member organisation.  Choose Commission member if you belong to an SSC Specialist Group.  Ensure you have a digital passport picture and your passport details to hand to complete the registration process. Visit the Congress website for full information on Registration 
Members Assembly - agenda & motions

The draft agenda approved by Council and the first set of Congress documents are now available - EnglishFrench I Spanish

Motions blog

The deadline for submitting motions is 9 May 2012.   For the first time, a Motions Blog has been launched for IUCN Members to draft and discuss motions. Motions must be formally submitted via email (motions@iucn.org) by 9 May 2012 but Members are encouraged to submit proposals well before the deadline. 

WCC V Jeju

The Forum (7-11 September)

The Forum is a public gathering hosted by the world’s conservation community, bringing together people from all over the world to discuss, share and learn. Addressing the world’s most pressing sustainable development challenges, the Forum offers a unique platform for debates, workshops, dialogues, roundtable discussions, training courses, music and exhibitions.

The draft schedule of Forum events is now available - click on any event to see when and where it will happen.  There is also complete site of Forum webspaces where you will find information about all events.  You can 
browse through all Forum sessions, discuss with their organisers and with other participants and  see the latest news about each event.

WCC V Jeju


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The sixteenth meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice (SBSTTA16) will take place in Montreal, Canada, from 30 April - 5 May 2012. It will be followed by the fourth meeting of the Convention’s Ad-Hoc Open-Ended Working Group on Review of Implementation (WGRI 4) to take place from 7 – 11 May 2012 also in Montreal, Canada.

IUCN will be present at SBSTTA16 and WGRI4 with a small but efficient delegation headed by Jane Smart, Global Director, Biodiversity Conservation Group. IUCN inputs will focus on the follow up to the implementation of the Strategic Plan, the progress with the Aichi Targets, discussions around the Resource Mobilization Strategy and Incentive Measures and the relationship between SBSTTA and IPBES. Other issues in the agenda of the meetings including issues related to Marine and Coastal Biodiversity and the review of the implementation of the programme of work on Island Biodiversity will be followed and IUCN has registered a number of side events as well.

IUCN’s position paper is available here and in French and Spanish


Other Newsletters

Living with a Changing Climate

This quarterly update, jointly issued by IUCN and CARE International, informs you about the latest news on climate change adaptation in Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam. IUCN and CARE International conduct projects titled “Building Resilience to Climate Change Impacts ―Coastal Southeast Asia” (BCR) and “Building Costal Resilience to Reduce Climate Change Impact in Thailand and Indonesia" (BCR-CC) funded by the European Union


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