species e-bulletin

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

January 2012


New plant discovered in Fiji

A new flowering plant belonging to the Medinilla plant group has been discovered in the highlands of Matasawalevu village, on the island of Kadavu in Fiji. The plant was found during a biodiversity assessment of the Nakasaleka district carried out as part of IUCN’s Water and Nature Initiative (WANI). There are around 193 known species of Medinilla, occurring in Madagascar, Africa, South Asia and the Pacific Islands. Of the 193 species, 11 can only be found in Fiji. One of them is the Tagimoucia flower, Medinilla waterhousei, the floral emblem of Fiji.  Full story

The newly discovered flower system

New SSC Climate Change Taskforce established

Professor Steven Williams from James Cook University (based in Townsville, Australia), and Dr James Watson, Leader of the Climate Adaptation Team at the Wildife Conservation Society (based in New York, USA) have been appointed as Co-Chairs of this new SSC Taskforce. The key objectives of the CCTF are to:

  • design a strategy to help the SSC respond to climate change impacts;
  • develop the ongoing work on species’ susceptibility to climate change into IUCN guidelines to inform conservation actions;
  • provide information and recommendations about enhancing species adaptation to climate change; and
  • keep under constant review the overall IUCN Programme of Work on climate change, with a view to ensuring that biodiversity concerns remain central and promote coordination of climate change responses between SSC Specialist Groups, SSC partner organizations and other IUCN Programmes areas

The CCTF steering committee will meet in March to determine a long-term workplan.For more information contact James (jwatson@wcs.org) and Steve (stephen.williams@jcu.edu.au).

Polar bear

EAZA-IUCN SSC Southeast Asia campaign launched

The wildlife of Southeast Asia is beautiful and mysterious but under threat. To help raise awareness and conservation funds for selected threatened animals in Southeast Asia, the International Union for Conservation of Nature Species Survival Commission (IUCN SSC) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) have teamed up to launch a new campaign.  The EAZA-IUCN SSC Southeast Asia campaign was initiated by EAZA in response to findings from IUCN that large animals (over 1kg) in Southeast Asia are at particular risk of decline and extinction due to illegal trade and habitat loss. The campaign will run until September 2012 and hopes to raise €750,000 for conservation projects to protect a number of different species in Southeast Asia. Full details

The only live adult Saola ever seen by the outside world. This female was captured in 1996 in Laos by local villagers, and transferred to a nearby menagerie, but survived only a few weeks. Copyright 1996 by W. Robichaud/WCS.


2011 was a busy year for many members of the Orchid SG –  the Fourth International Orchid Conservation Congress in the Czech Republic in May, the International Botanical Congress in Melbourne in July and the World Orchid Conference in Singapore in November provided opportunities for the group to meet formally three times this year.   More than 50 members attended the meeting in Singapore, giving us the chance to make some real progress, both for the whole group and for some of the thematic and regional groups.

November saw the launch of 153 European level redlist assessments for orchids – 44 of the species are endemic to Europe meaning that the assessments are also global. The new assessments represent a 20% increase in the number of global assessments for the family, and bring the number of orchids on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species to over 200. There is still a long way to go as the family has more than 25000 species, but we are making some progress! 

The OSG Newsletter was relaunched and three issues produced by the end of the year and new Orchid SG webpages  were launched. Contact Hassan Rankou (h.rankou@kew.org) if you have suggestions for corrections or additions.

Orchids in Quito Botanical Garden, Ecuador

Cat SG - Congratulations Christine and Urs!

The 2011 Rabinowitz-Kaplan Prize for Excellence in Cat Conservation has been awarded to Cat SG Co-Chairs Urs Breitenmoser and Christine Breitenmoser-Würsten. This prize is awarded biennially to senior conservationists who have dedicated their lives to the conservation of wild cats. This year, Panthera acknowledges a couple that has devoted their careers to advancing science and the conservation of wild cats, and who have made exceptional progress in increasing international coordination in wild cat conservation and expanding access to vital information on wild cats across the globe. 


And the latest edition of Cat News 55 is now available on line.



Arno Gutleb has taken on the role of  Deputy Chair of the Otter Specialist Group. As a longtime OSG member, OSG Bulletin editor, and an active member of the OSG Management Team, Arno brings experience and enthusiasm to this position.  While Nicole Duplaix the Otter SG Chair is based in the USA, Arno will be able to represent the OSG at meetings in Europe. 


Pig SG, Hippo SG & Peccary SG

The latest edition of ‘Suiform Soundings’, the newsletter for the Wild Pig Specialist Group, the Hippo Specialist Group and the Peccary Specialist Group, is now available online. Readers can access the latest issue 11(1) here. 

Common Warthog

Iguana SG

 Lee Pagni and Glenn Gerber of the IUCN / SSC Iguana Specialist Group have written a short report on their review of the implementation of four species recovery planning processes for iguanas. They discuss lessons learned and options for improving recovery plans which are applicable across species groups. View the report here

Sue Mainka

Anteater, Sloth & Armadillo

 The latest volume, number 12, of Edentata is now available online and includes seven articles, two short communications and one field note about different aspects related to the conservation of xenarthrans.  Join the ASA folk on Facebook, www.facebook.com/xenarthrans, to exchange ideas about the conservation of these fascinating animals.



The 100th edition of FrogLog is now available from the web site at www.amphibians.org  This edition focuses on South America, and being so well supported, is considerably larger than past editions. For that reason we have uploaded two pdf versions to our web site. The full version contains all the working links and is a fully interactive document whereas the smaller version is less interactive yet has the same content. If you are interested in submitting an article to FrogLog or have comments and suggestions please contact James Lewis at jplewis@amphibians.org

This image shows the courtship behavior of Indian Bull frogs (Holobatrachus tigerinus). During the monsoon, the breeding males become bright yellow in color, while females remain dull. The prominent blue vocal sacs of male produce strong nasal mating call.

Bryophytes: Towards a new Red List for Europe

The first attempt at producing a Red List for bryophytes covering all of Europe was in 1995. The last 17 years have seen an enormous improvement in our knowledge of the bryophytes of Europe, and especially of their taxonomy and distribution. A good example is Spain - see Atlas of Endangered Bryophytes of Spain project  There have been some conservation successes but threats to our bryophyte flora continue. For a Red List to be credible, it needs to be updated regularly clear that the bryophyte Red List is now in urgent need of review. The European Committee on the Conservation of Bryophytes (ECCB), has led a project over the past year to assess the feasibility of a new bryophyte Red List for Europe. Key products from this project have been

  • a short report outlining the need for a new list and describing ways in which it could be taken forward,
  • a list of current European checklists and Red Lists,
  • an assessment of current relevant bryological work across Europe,
  • an updated list of ECCB country contacts,
  • and a draft spreadsheet showing the distribution of European mosses by country

It is now proposed to examine the results of the pilot project and determine a way forward for a full conservation reassessment of the European bryophyte flora and a new Red List.  For more information contact Tomas Hallingbäck Tomas.Hallingback@slu.se or Nick Hodgetts nick1901@hotmail.co.uk

Boulder with Liverworts & Moss

Job opportunity: Programme Officer, Aichi Biodiversity Targets and Key Biodiversity Areas

IUCN’s ‘Flagship Knowledge Products’ include the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and the World Database on Protected Areas.  Work is now ongoing to develop a new global standard to support the process of consolidating the criteria for identifying sites of global biodiversity conservation significance, essential for the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. These are known as ‘Key Biodiversity Areas’. Together with the developing IUCN Red List of Ecosystems these knowledge products aim to provide critical and unique information, on the status of species and ecosystems to inform the use and conservation of the land and sea. The role of the  Programme officer is to work on linking these knowledge products to improve conservation on the ground and influence global and national policy.  Deadline 06 February More information


SSC Chairs`Meeting, Abu Dhabi 23-27 February 2012

The leadership of the SSC and Global Species Programme will come together to advance the species conservation agenda for the next IUCN quadrennium and beyond thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD), and the support of the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund.  
The meeting will provide an open platform for all Specialist Group (SG), stand-alone Red List Authority (RLA) and Task Force Chairs in the SSC and the IUCN Global Species Programme to meet, share their experiences, and discuss ways forward on key conservation issues. In addition, discussions will be held relating to existing and future collaborations with other IUCN Commissions, Programmes and international conventions.
The senior leadership of IUCN and the SSC will express their gratitude and recognition to the volunteer experts of the SSC network, who generously dedicate their time and expertise to species conservation and the preservation of biodiversity.

SSC Chairs' Meeting Group, Al Ain, UAE

IUCN Red List Updates 2012

There will be two updates of the IUCN Red List in 2012

2012.1  Red List update:  20th June 2012.  Submission deadline: 14th March
  Red List update:  September 2012. Submission deadline: 21st June

A submissions process timeline is in place to allow submitted assessments to be processed, and for the Red List web site and communications materials to be prepared in time for each Red List update. Hence the deadlines.

Completed assessments (or modifications required for existing assessments) should be referred to the appropriate Red List Authority (RLA) focal point and/or project coordinator who will review and submit your assessments to the Red List Unit. For fuller info contact:

Red List Unit: Caroline Pollock caroline.pollock@iucn.org

SSC Network Support Officers: Dena Cator  dena.cator@iucn.org  Andrew Rodrigues  andrew.rodrigues@iucn.org

Logo for IUCN Red List

Espèces menacées en Suisse: synthese des listes rouges

 Par le biais des listes rouges, dix mille espèces sauvages ont été évaluées en Suisse. Un tiers d'entre elles sont menacées à des degrés divers, a indiqué jeudi l'Office fédéral de l'environnement (OFEV).  Des listes rouges ont été publiées en Suisse pour 27 groupes d'espèces de plantes, de champignons et d'animaux. Les premières remontent à plus d'une trentaine d'années. La situation d'un peu plus de 10'000 des 46'000 espèces connues en Suisse a ainsi été évaluée.  Plus d'info

Flags IUCN, Ramsar, and Switzerland at HQ

IPBES Assessment Survey - your input sought

We would like to bring to your attention the establishment of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services (IPBES), an  assessment body for biodiversity and ecosystem services. IPBES will undertake assessments on biodiversity and ecosystem services changes and their impacts on human well-being. Decision makers will have the best science available so they can weigh the consequences of alternative policy options and choose the best strategy.

Your voice is important in shaping the guiding principles of making IPBES a fully functioning body that will make a difference on a global scale.  Participate in a survey on the IPBES process by clicking on this link :

IPBES Assessment Survey

Visit www.iucn.org/ipbes for more on IUCN and IPBES



Job opportunities

Director, Health&Ecosystem: Analysis of Linkages(HEAL), WCS, USA Info


2012 CIC Markhor Award: Nominations

The CIC Markhor Award honors a conservation project of multinational
relevance that links the conservation of biodiversity and human
livelihoods through application of sustainable use principles. The
Markhor Award is granted every two years at the occasion of the
Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The CIC needs your help in finding excellent candidates for the prize. Please see the eligibility criteria  and consider if you have in mind an appropriate applicant and let the CIC Headquarters know about it with a short, maximum one page descriptive justification for the nomination.


Seeking expert readers to screen applications for United Nation’s Land for Life Award

The Land for Life Award is a new prize launched by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification to recognize leadership in sustainable land management, particularly efforts that promote the natural health and productivity of the earth's soils. Nominations are being sought worldwide, and applicants are encouraged to demonstrate innovation, collaboration and knowledge sharing in efforts that restore land.  As part of this process, the UNCCD is seeking expert readers to help screen and select the first round of applications. Expert readers will volunteer an estimated 3-6 hours between the weeks of March 12-30.  For more info email to edavila@unccd.int 


Zoo's Print: Magazine of Zoo Outreach Organisation

The January 2012 issue of ZOO’s PRINT Magazine (Volume XXVII, Number 1) is online at www.zoosprint.org in a format that permits you to turn pages like a regular magazine.  If you wish to download the full magazine or certain articles click on www.zoosprint.org/showMagazine.asp 


CMS bulletin: COP 10 outcomes

This special edition of the CMS Bulletin, summarizes major outcomes of the recent 10th Conference of the Parties to CMS held in November 2011:
Contents include 
• Guest Article : Saving Migrating Elephants - The Mara Elephant Project

• CMS Enhances Protection of Bukhara Deer and other Endangered Species in Central Asia
• CMS COP10 Agrees New Steps for Migratory Birds
• Giant Manta Ray Listed on Both CMS Appendices
• Saker Falcon Listed on Appendix I
• CMS COP10 Adopts Ambitious Resolution to Conserve Migratory Species Hit by Climate Change
• CMS COP10 Strengthens Cetacean Conservation Worldwide


IUCN Publications

> Andros iguana : conservation action plan, 2005-2011 (2011)

>Le commerce de la viande d’éléphant en Afrique Centrale : rapport de synthèse (2011)

> Elephant meat trade in Central Africa : Cameroon case study (2011)

> Elephant meat trade in Central Africa : Central African Republic case study (2011)

> Elephant meat trade in Central Africa : Democratic Republic of Congo case study (2011)

> Elephant meat trade in Central Africa : Republic of Congo case study (2011)

> Elephant meat trade in Central Africa : summary report (2011)

> Vulnerability assessments : a review of approaches (2011)

 > Island invasives : eradication and management : proceedings of the International Conference on Island Invasives (2011)



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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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