species e-bulletin

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

December 2011


Reindeer: not just for Christmas

 Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer may be famous for guiding Santa Claus through the night sky, but reindeer do more than just pull toy-laden sleighs—reindeer are an important food source and serve many ecological functions, yet are also in need of stronger conservation strategies, according to IUCN Full story

Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus)

New mobile app features the amazing world of frogs

The first ever IUCN mobile application developed together with Nokia is now available for consumer use, ready to download from the Nokia Store. The free-for-download app is the result of a partnership between Nokia and SOS (Save Our Species), a global species conservation fund to protect threatened species and their habitats. The app, “Fantastic World of Frogs,” is an image gallery of frogs for the Nokia N9 Smartphone and allows users to view spectacular photos of frogs, discover their habitat in the Colombian rainforest, and learn more about these incredible creatures.  Full story

SOS logo 4

Saving Nemo: charisma is not enough

 If conservation action is not taken, there may come a time when no one will be able to find Nemo. One in every six species related to characters in the movie Finding Nemo is threatened by extinction, according to a new study by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and Simon Fraser University. A team of marine scientists have analyzed the extinction risk and reviewed successful conservation programmes for Nemo, the charismatic clownfish, as well as more than 1,500 other species related to characters in the 2003 Disney/Pixar animated movie, Finding Nemo. The study revealed that widely distributed animals like turtles and sharks are at most risk, and hunting and fishing poses the greatest threat to species’ survival.  Full story English l FrenchI Spanish

Clown fish in Moorea, French Polynesia

Cat SG - Cats in Iran

Cat SG Chairs Urs & Christine Breitenmoser recently visited Iran in connection with the Cats in Iran project.  The purpose of the project is to review the conservation status of all cats in Iran according to IUCN standards, and to publish these assessments as special issue of Cat News in English and Farsi. You can read the interesting trip report here trip report


Sustainable Use SG: Chair appointed

Dr Rosie Cooney has been appointed Chair of the CEESP/SSC SUSG. 

Rosie has worked for leading international conservation organisations, most notably Resource Africa and WWF International, in collaboration with colleagues across the globe, and her current work is a mix of independent consulting to governments, NGOs and the private sector, and research and teaching at two leading Australian universities. Her work focuses strongly on seeking approaches that both meet human needs and conserve biodiversity.

Simon Stuart and Aroha Mead are both very excited that Rosie has agreed to take on this challenge, and look forward to seeing SUSG flourish under her leadership as a joint initiative of both CEESP and SUSG. This is will be largest collaboration that the two IUCN Commissions have undertaken, and should break new ground in terms of bringing biological, social and economic factors together to achieve conservation and sustainable use. 


Invasive Species

The latest edition of Aliens, the newsletter of the ISSG is now available.  Download a pdf version here


Job opportunity: Temporary Programme Officer, Conservation Planning

 The Global Species Programme seeks a temporary Programme Officer to support the process of consolidating the criteria for identifying sites of global biodiversity conservation significance, in preparation for the World Conservation Congress in September 2012.  This position will work with the joint IUCN SSC (Species Survival Commission) - WCPA (World Commission on Protected Areas) Biodiversity and Protected Areas task force to support the technical deliverables of the position on sites of global biodiversity conservation significance. This is a temporary role (for a minimum of six months) to provide maternity cover.  More info 



Some recent Global Species Programme activities include:

 Kevin Smith of the Freshwater Biodiversity Unit reports from the recent  freshwater shrimp workshop which was focused on the 300+ Asian and Australasian species and was attended by 10 carcinologists from China, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Europe and Australia. The preliminary results show a similar story to many freshwater assessments, with many restricted range species being threatened, in this case Asian karst species (Indonesia, Australia and China). Key threats being pollution from agriculture and urban areas, introduced fishes, deforestation (sedimentation and loss of shade), damming (as some species are migratory).

Craig Hilton Taylor and Caroline Pollock of the Red List Unit  facilitated a four-day Red List Assessor Training Workshop primarily for members of the Korean Plant Specialist Group, but other participants were invited including staff from the Korean National Arboretum (KNA) which falls under the Ministry for Forestry, and at least one person from the Ministry of Environment. 

Craig continued to Chiang-Mai in Thailand to help facilitate an assessment workshop on IndoChina plant species - the 2nd in a series of three workshops as part of a three-year CEPF funded project to assess the status of selected plants in the IndoChina hotspot (primarily Cambodia, Lao, Viet Nam, Thailand and SE China) and to identify important plant areas.


New IUCN Red List map browser: visualize and explore

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species website has a brand new feature designed to facilitate the exploration and visualization of species distribution ranges. This new ‘map browser’ allows Red List users to understand species’ distribution with the help of underlying imagery, both terrestrial and marine. Over 30,000 species maps can be explored in the browser, including all comprehensively assessed groups (such as amphibians, mammals, birds and several marine groups including corals, sharks and many others), as well as several freshwater groups.  You can zoom in and out of the maps, and overlay 12 base maps which can be accessed via the basemap feature. The map browser can be accessed via the map thumbnails on individual species fact sheets on the Red List website.  Try it out here

IUCN would like to thank the MAVA Foundation for their support for this excellent enhancement to the information on the IUCN Red List website.


Logo for IUCN Red List

Pacific Islands Species Forum, Honiara, Solomon Islands, 25-27 April 2012

On behalf of IUCN Oceania, the IUCN Species Survival Commission, BirdLife International, the Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation (PIRT) and our hosts, the Government of the Solomon Islands, we would like to announce that the Inaugural Pacific Islands Species Forum will take place in Honiara, Solomon Islands from April 25th-27th 2012.   Note the dates and look out for more information in the new year.


Second Global Plan of Action for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture approved

The Second Global Plan of Action for Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture was unanimously approved by the FAO Council at its recent 143rd Session. The Council recognized the Second Global Plan of Action as an important instrument for an effective conservation and use of plant genetic diversity at global and local levels.   Prepared under the aegis of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture it is based on country inputs from regional consultations as well as gaps and needs identified in The Second Report on the State of the World’s Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture published in 2010.  More info


X International Congress for Wildlife Management in Amazonia & Latin America, Salta, Argentina, 14-18 May 2012

El Congreso es organizado por el Instituto de Recursos Naturales y Ecodesarrollo (IRNED) de la Universidad Nacional de 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 la Amazonía y Latinoamérica. Las presentaciones y discusiones estarán enfocadas en los avances hechos en materia de diseño, desarrollo, implementación, métodos, y planes de manejo y Conservación de fauna silvestre en la Amazonía y Latinoamérica.  Para mayor información acerca del Congreso; la inscripción de resúmenes, talleres, y los cursos; e información para la inscripción, contacte a los organizadores en el E-mail: sergio_mosa@yahoo.com.ar


United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies: MSc in Environmental Governance

The United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS) is now accepting online applications to its Master of Science in Environmental Governance with Specialization in Biodiversity programme for the 2012 academic year. The programme draws on UNU-IAS's long-standing reputation for excellence in policy-oriented research for sustainable development. UNU-IAS provides students with the intellectual foundation and practical field experience necessary for understanding environmental governance regimes.  More information


Applications for IFS Research Grants

Applications for IFS Research Grants are welcome from young scientists in developing countries to do research on the sustainable management, use or conservation of biological or water resources. This broad statement covers natural science and social science research on agriculture, soils, animal production, food science, forestry, agroforestry, aquatic resources, natural products, water resources, etc. Open to citizens of developing countries, with a Master’s degree and under 40 years of age (45 in sub-Saharan Africa).  Deadline 29 January 2012.  More info


Groupers of the World: A Field and Market Guide

This new book provides detailed and up to date information on all grouper species.

Groupers are a commercially important family of tropical fish found globally on coral and rocky reefs. The book contains more than 350 colour photographs of both dead and live animals that will aid the identification of these large and colourful fish in all situations.

“Identification is essential for monitoring fisheries and assessing species in the field,” says Dr Matthew Craig, Co-chair, IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Groupers and Wrasses Specialist Group. “This book is invaluable to scientists, divers and fish enthusiasts alike.”  Full info


The front cover of Groupers of the World: a Field and Market Guide

ZOOQUARIA - #76 - Winter 2011/12

The latest edition of the quarterly newsletter of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) features:

- Archbishop Desmond Tutu's support for EAZA
- Montpellier 2011 in pictures
- New Dolphin Lagoon and Manatee House at Nuremburg Zoo
- Breeding Programmes: citron-crested cockatoo
- Community-driven conservation in Ecuador
- Elephant collection planning
- A decade of Grevy's Zebra conservation
Plus a look at the first of six field conservation projects in Southeast Asia

Downloadpdf version here, or online version here


Foundation IGF Mozambique

Le bulletin d’information N° 6, décembre 2011, sur les activités de la Fondation IGF au Mozambique, a été préparé par le IGF représentant sur place, Hubert Bouletles contient lest dernières informations sur l’évolution de les différents programmes au Mozambique et en particulier de leur programme « Co-gestion de la Réserve Nationale de Gilé » Download here 



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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


Photo credits@ IUCN: Header : Intu BOEDHIHARTONO