species e-bulletin

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

January 2011


Red List Training in West Asia

The West Asia region is known for its rich biodiversity and wide range of fauna and flora, but like any other region, its biodiversity is seriously threatened. Due to increasing threats to species, there is an urgent need to build capacity in the West Asia for assessing the status of threatened fauna and flora, and thus the Royal Botanic Garden of Jordan and IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature – Regional Office for West Asia (ROWA) organized a joint regional workshop to train experts in West Asia on the use of The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. The workshop, held from 17-21 January 2011 at the Dead Sea, lays the foundations for a skilled team that will be capable of assessing, evaluating and preparing the Red List of Threatened Species in West Asia. More info

Right to left: HRH Princess Basma bint Ali, Founder of the Royal Botanic Garden Initiative, HE Nasser Shraideh Minister of Environment in Jordan and HE Dr. Saleh Wreikat, Member of the Parliament

Freshwater species at risk in Eastern Himalaya development surge

Development of water resources in the Eastern Himalaya region is expanding at a rapid rate and there is a serious lack of information to guide conservation and development planning. This is putting freshwater ecosystems and the species within them at risk, along with the livelihoods and economies of local communities which they support. In a recent study for The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ carried out by IUCN and Zoo Outreach Organisation (ZOO), scientists found that 31.3% of the 1,073 freshwater species of fishes, molluscs, dragonflies and damselflies currently known in the Eastern Himalaya region are assessed as Data Deficient, emphasizing the need for extensive new research.  Full story

IUCN - Freshwater Biodiversity Unit

IUCN welcomes ‘Forests 2011’ - International Year of Forests

The world’s forests are essential to life in all its diversity and to attaining humanity’s biggest goals such as reducing poverty, curbing climate change and achieving sustainable development. Throughout 2011 IUCN will work towards making sure that forests deliver their maximum potential for human well-being and biodiversity conservation. Full story and links to IUCN forest related work.

The United Nations General Assembly declared 2011 as the International Year of Forests to raise awareness on sustainable management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests.

Year of the Rabbit – species hopping out of view?

Celebrations begin on Thursday 3 February 2011 to mark the Chinese New Year and the start of the Year of the Rabbit. However, as we enter this new cycle in the Chinese zodiac, conservationists are warning that, in spite of their reputation as prolific breeders, nearly one in four rabbits, hares and pikas - from the order known as lagomorphs - are classified as Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™.

> Lagomorgh fact sheet
Tehuantepec Jackrabbit

Pinnipeds -NOAA Proposes Listing Ringed and Bearded Seals as Threatened Under Endangered Species Act

 NOAA’s Fisheries Service is proposing to list four subspecies of ringed seals, found in the Arctic Basin and the North Atlantic, and two distinct population segments of bearded seals in the Pacific Ocean, as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.  The proposed listings cite threats posed by diminishing sea ice, and additionally, for ringed seals, reduced snow cover. NOAA climate models were used to predict future sea ice conditions. One of the five recognized subspecies of ringed seals, the Saimaa in Finland, is already listed as endangered under the ESA. Under the proposed rules published today in the Federal Register, the remaining four subspecies of ringed seals – Arctic, Okhotsk, Baltic and Ladoga – would all be listed as threatened.  Full storyI Status reviews I

Ringed Seal in May 2007


The Cat SG activity report for 2008/2009 is now available on the Cat SG website.  The report covers all aspects of the work accomplished by the SG from species assessment  and conservation activities to strategic conservation planning work as well as capacity development and fundraising activities.  With a concise one page per project format and lots of beautiful photos this report is a superb record of the full range of work of a Specialist Group.  Well worth a read  Activity report

Wild Cat (Felis silvestris)


New oil platform off Sakhalin – whale scientists will have a say
The oil and gas company Sakhalin Energy Investment Company (Sakhalin Energy) announced on December 4th its intention to begin planning for construction of a third offshore oil and gas platform in the Piltun-Astokh field along the coast of Sakhalin Island, eastern Russia. As this platform would be located near the primary feeding ground of the endangered western gray whale population, Sakhalin Energy requested the advice of an independent panel of scientists, convened by IUCN, to minimize risks to the whale population.  Full story

Grey whale tail fin.

New Spatial datasets available on Red List website

There are several new and updated species distribution datasets available for download from the Red List website, including seven new marine groups. All Mangroves and Seagrasses have been posted and  many species within the Amphibians and the Mammals group have also been updated.  Distribution data is now available for about 20,000 species. Full info here

Logo for IUCN Red List

Breakthrough in vulture conservation in Nepal

The Nepalese Government declared Dang District as the country`s first "Diclofenac Free District" based on the initiative of young conservationists working for Bird Conservation Nepal (an SOS project). Diclofenac is a veterinary drug widely used across South Asia to treat livestock. It has been identified as the principal cause of vulture decline. Any vultures feeding on the carcass of an animal that was treated with this drug will die from kidney failure. Full story

Save our Species logo

Giraffe Indaba, Namibia, July 2011

The Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) together with the IUCN SSC Antelope SG International Giraffe Working Group (IGWG) invites all scientists, students, wildlife managers, and decision-makers in the field of giraffe research, conservation and management to attend the first ever 'wild giraffe Indaba (conference) in Africa at the Etosha Safari Lodge, Namibia, from 4 to 7 July 2011, including a half-day seminar on 7 July 2011: “The Conservation and Management of giraffe in Africa – looking forward”.  Full details

A close up of a giraffe in Lake Manyara National Park, Tanazania

6th International Conference on Environmental Future18-22 July 2011

The 6th ICEF at Newcastle University, UK, aims to explore the current and potential future extent and nature of interdisciplinary research and management practice across the environmental domain. Eighty speakers, from many countries have agreed to give presentations. The 6th ICEF is a major international forum that will inform senior scientists, environmental managers and policy formers and encourage debate about 'interdisciplinary' progress in environmental science and management.  More info


4th European Wildlife Disease Association (EWDA) Student Workshop, 14-17 April 2011

The Workshop will be held at the conference centre Les Pensières of the Fondation Mérieux, in Veyrier-du-Lac, France. Organized for and by students to promote the scientific education of veterinary and non-veterinary students and aiming give students the opportunity to meet and share the experience of the best scientists involved in wildlife disease research worldwide.More info


New online learning tool - International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

Developments in international and national law and policy over the past 15 years have significantly changed the working environment for those who make decisions about plant genetic resources. Activities such as collecting samples now require an understanding of access legislation, while plant genetic resources research cannot be undertaken without considering relevant intellectual property rights. The adoption of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and its Standard Material Transfer Agreement (SMTA), is the focus of a new online learning module published by Bioversity International which aims to explain the Treaty in the context of other international agreements and how to use its SMTA to exchange crop diversity. Developed in response to a request from developing countries and the Governing Body of the International Treaty for help and capacity building relating to the Treaty’s implementation – full details here


Job opportunities

Director General,  International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) more info

Monitoring & Biodiversity Officer,    National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, Washington DC more info

LEAD Africa Fellowship Programme Director, more info


Global Re-introduction Perspectives: 2010

A second edition of the Global Re-introduction Perspectives series has just been published featuring 72 case-studies covering invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals and plants from all over the world.  Presented in a consistent format each case-study is vividly illustrated with colour photographs and a large amount of valuable information is presented clearly so that general patterns and lessons learned can be seen easily.   If you are interested in contributing to future editions, contact Pritpal Soorae at pritpal.soorae@iucn.org


> Global Re-introduction Perspectives: 2010

Latest IUCN publications "Off the Shelf"

For the latest information on IUCN publications, see “Off the Shelf”. The January 2011 issue is now available.

Off the shelf newsletter

Convention on Migratory Species - CMS Bulletin November December 2010

Includes articles on

  • New Concerted Action for Central Eurasian Arid Land Mammals
  • AEWA Receives Support from RWE to Conduct Review on Bird-Power Grid Conflict
  • Successful Reintroduction of Oryx and Addax in Tunisia under CMS Action Plan
  • New Action Plan for Migratory Grassland Birds of South America Download the pdf in French or English here

Amazon Alive! A decade of discovery 1999-2009

This report from WWF about species discoveries in the region over the last decade celebrates the 1200 unique and fascinating species that have been found in the Amazon in the past decade. The report also highlights many vital habitats that face growing pressures as a consequence of unsustainable development. Click Amazon Alive to download the pdf

The reflection of the rainforest in the black waters of the Amazon, Brazil

Crop Wild Relatives – A manual of in situ conservation

Published by Earthscan in association with Biodiversity International this book is part of a new series on Agricultural Biodiversity and captures the practical experiences and lessons learned by five important centres of origin and diversity of CWR – Armenia, Bolivia, Madagascar, Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan – that were involved in a UNEP/GEF-funded project set on improving the conservation status of these important species within their national boundaries. The book provides helpful guidance for project, programme, and policy managers intending to set about conserving these important plant genetic resources.  More info


CWR video

Biodiversity International have also prepared an excellent short multimedia presentation explaining clearly why CWR are important. Click here to view.


World Conservation magazine - latest issue New challenges, new approaches, new players

The latest issue of World Conservation magazine takes stock of the Convention on Biological Diversity conference that took place in Japan last October where governments approved a ‘Big Plan’ for saving biodiversity and looks ahead to what’s in store for conservation in the coming years. We cover some of the latest thinking and new approaches that might be used and hear prominent figures outline what they see as the greatest priority for saving biodiversity. Which new partners will become engaged in conservation? What progress will be made in curbing burgeoning levels of wildlife trade? What future for the oceans?

> World conservation magazine - English
> Espagnol
> Français
World Conservation Magazine

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 Conservation Tools

IUCN has a growing list of tools, guidelines and science publications that we encourage conservation practitioners to make use of. There are now over 80 conservation action tools on the website, under the following categories:
Assessment and monitoring
Conservation management: Species, Ecosystems, Protected Areas, Business and Biodiversity

Conservation policy tools

Education and awareness raising
IUCN Programme Management tools

There is also a growing list of peer-reviewed publications

If you would like to add to this wealth of knowledge, please send your submissions to iucnscience@iucn.org



 Latest here

Traffic Website

IUCN Commission Newsletters

World Commission on Protected Areas
WCPA News update
Commission on Education and Communication
CEC Newsletter
Commission on Environmental Law
CEL Newsletter
Commission on Ecosystem Management
CEM News Ecosystem 
Commission on Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social Policy

CEESP Newsletter


Other IUCN Publications


Download from the IUCN Publications catalogue here

• Are the mangroves for the future : empirical evidence of the value of Miani Hor Mangroves Ecosystem as the basis for investments (2010)
• Community networking : a tool for circumventing weak governance in southern Thailand (2010)

 • Ecologically and socio-economically sound coastal ecosystem rehabilitation and conservation in tsunami-affected countries of the Indian Ocean : annual report 2007 (2008)

• Ecologically and socio-economically sound coastal ecosystem rehabilitation and conservation in tsunami-affected countries of the Indian Ocean : annual report 2008 (2009)

• Economic assessment for ballast water management : a guideline (2010)

• Protecting and conserving vs. replanting and rehabilitation (2010)

• Socioeconomic and ecological monitoring toolkit : Huraa Mangrove Nature Reserve (2008)

• Valuing biodiversity : the economic case for biodiversity conservation in the Maldives (2009)


arborvitae Issue 42 - Communicating Forest Values

  • What is a forest? ...at best something nice to look at, somewhere to walk their dog, a refuge from the hurly-burly of daily life.
  • How sexy are forests? as a forest expert (or a Species expert) ...you have to realise that most people take decisions not based on the head, but on the heart, guts and sex.
  • Perspective: ...kill the extinction message. The 'Love' message trumps the 'Loss' message for grabbing the public's attention.
> arborvitae Issue 42 - Communicating Forest Values
arborvitae 42: Communicating forest values

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