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Welcome to the Species Survival Commission of
IUCN - The World Conservation Union

The world's largest species conservation network

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News

   

SSC E-Bulletin (monthly electronic newsletter) latest issue - archives

REPRIEVE PLANNED FOR GARAMBA’S RHINOS: EXTRA EFFORTS PROMISED TO SAFEGUARD THEIR HOMELAND
21 January 2005

Northern white rhino (Ceratotherium simum cottoni), Garamba National Park, DR Congo/ Dr Kes SmithGland, Switzerland, IUCN
– IUCN welcomes the approval by the Congolese Government of a bold plan to save the Critically Endangered northern white rhino from extinction in the wild, and supports planned efforts to save the park and its unique suite of wildlife that is being ravaged by poaching.

The Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) recently approved a plan for the translocation of five northern white rhino from DRC’s Garamba National Park to a wildlife sanctuary in Kenya. This is one element of a two-part plan to save the sub-species from extinction and secure the national park and its remaining wildlife. The second part commits the Government and its international partners to increased support for conservation activities in Garamba, so that the rhinos can be returned to the Park once security and the long-term viability of the Garamba ecosystem has been assured. Full story

SAD LOSS TO SSC
14 January 2005

Claus Reuther/Otterzentrum Gland, Switzerland, IUCN - SSC is sad to announce that one of its most active and dedicated members, Claus Reuther, has passed away. Claus was Chair of the SSC Otter Specialist Group and dedicated his life to the protection of otters and their habitats. He created and lead during 25 years the Aktion Fischotterschutz, and later the German Otter-Stiftung. In 1987, he initiated the Otter-Zentrum, which has been visited by more than 1.5 million people. He also undertook a lot of international and regional conservation work.

A passionate otter conservationist, he never lost sight of the importance of human involvement and always promoted human well-being as an integral part of conservation programmes. The President of the Aktion Fischotterschutz, Professor Janssen, summarised the feelings of many when he said “We will all miss Claus very much and we extend our deepest sympathy to his family. The best way we can honour his memory is to continue his admirable work with the same dedication and enthusiasm.”

Otterzentrum (tribute in German) and SSC Otter Specialist Group

TWO NEW SPECIES OF LEMUR DISCOVERED - ONE NAMED AFTER FORMER CHAIR OF THE SSC'S CONSERVATION BREEDING SPECIALIST GROUP
14 January 2005

Seal's sportive lemur (Lepilemur seali)/Henry Doorly Zoo Gland, Switzerland, IUCN - Officials at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo (USA) announced the coming publication in the December 2005 issue (Volume 26, No. 6) of the International Journal of Primatology the discovery of two new species of Sportive Lemur. The species are described by Dr. Edward Louis, head of the Genetics Department of the Grewcock Center for Conservation and Research Center at the zoo.

The two new species are located in very different forest types – in the rain forest of the east coast and in the dry forest of the west coast. The west coast species, Mitsinjo Sportive Lemur or Lepilemur mitsinjonensis, is named after the region. The east coast species, Seal’s Sportive Lemur or Lepilemur seali, is named in honour of Ulysses S. Seal III, former chairman of the Species Survival Commission’s Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG). This is a wonderful tribute to a man who had such a positve impact on so many people. His death nearly two years ago was a great loss, but during his lifetime he inspired many people in the CBSG and beyond by his passion for nature conservation, his belief in people and his commitment to applying the best science and social processes to solve important conservation problems. Full story

DR HOLLY T. DUBLIN - NEW CHAIR OF THE SPECIES SURVIVAL COMMISSION
10 December 2004

Français // Español

Holly Dublin - New Chair of SSCBangkok, Thailand, IUCN - Dr Holly T. Dublin’s association with the Species Survival Commission began over 30 years ago when she became a member of her first Specialist Group. Since that time she has contributed to numerous SSC Specialist Groups, task forces and initiatives. In 1992 she became the Chair of the African Elephant Specialist Group, one of the Commission’s most productive and acclaimed groups. In 1994, Holly joined the SSC Executive Committee and has been a dynamic participant ever since.

Holly moves with ease between the day-to-day realities and concerns of conservation practitioners and the world of international policy, its financiers and decision-makers. A skilled writer and orator,, with a long and dedicated history with IUCN and SSC, she will be a committed and effective Chair. Full story

NASA AND ORACLE ANNOUNCE SUBSTANTIAL DONATIONS FOR SSC’S SPECIES INFORMATION SERVICE
10 December 2004

Announcement of the US$3 million donation by Oracle Corporation to IUCN - from left to right: Mr. Stu Salter, IUCN, Senior Advisor, SIS; Mr. David Brackett, Chair, IUCN Species Survival Commission; Mr. Nick Hancock, Oracle, Senior Manager; Dr. Russ Mittermeier, Conservation International, President; Dr. Michael Rands,  BirdLife International, Director and Chief Executive; Mr. Larry Sugarbaker, NatureServe, Vice President and Chief Information Officer; Dr. Gustavo Fonseca, Conservation International, Center for Applied Biodiversity ScienceBangkok, Thailand, IUCN - Two major announcements for the development of SSC’s Species Information Service (SIS) - IUCN’s worldwide biodiversity and conservation management tool that includes the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species - were made at the IUCN 3rd World Conservation Congress in Bangkok, in November.

NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) signed a joint declaration with IUCN to improve access to, and incorporate NASA data and remote sensing products into the work of IUCN. SIS will be a major beneficiary of this agreement. Full story

Oracle Corporation announced an in-kind donation of Oracle software and support services valued at US$3 million to IUCN. This generous gift means that SIS now has the necessary technical support and software required to reach its full potential as a worldwide conservation knowledge management system and service. Full story

GLOBAL COORDINATOR APPOINTED FOR WETLANDS INTERNATIONAL / IUCN/SSC GLOBAL FRESHWATER FISH SPECIALIST GROUP
9 December 2004

SSC is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Gordon Reid for a three year term as the Coordinator of the Global Freshwater Fish Specialist Group - a collaborative initiative between IUCN/SSC and Wetlands International. This appointment aims to resurrect the activities of the former IUCN/SSC Global Freshwater Fish Specialist Group which has been inactive since 1996. The group plans to hold its first meeting early in 2005 to discuss membership and formalise its new Terms of Reference. Plans and activities for the group will then be posted on both the Wetlands International and IUCN/SSC websites.

Gordon is the current Director of Chester Zoo, UK, and in 2004 became the elected President of the Linnean Society of London - the world’s oldest learned society for botany and zoology, where Darwin and Wallace delivered their original paper on the Origin of Species. The author of more than 150 published works, his research interests include taxonomy, zoogeography and conservation biology, particularly in relation to fishes and aquatic habitats. Gordon has close involvement with a multitude of relevant organisations including the World Association of Zoos and Aquaria (member of the Steering Group for the Aquarium Conservation Strategy, and Chair of the Aquarium Committee). He is therefore in an excellent position to promote the aims and objectives of the Specialist Group. He will be supported in his new role by the relevant officers in Wetlands International and IUCN/SSC, as well as by regional leaders for the group. SSC Global Freshwater Fish Specialist Group // Wetlands International

WORLD'S LARGEST CONSERVATION GATHERING OPENS TO ESCALATING GLOBAL SPECIES EXTINCTION CRISIS
17 November 2004

A total of 15,589 species face extinction, reveals the 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. One in three amphibians and almost half of all freshwater turtles are threatened, on top of the one in eight birds and one in four mammals known to be in jeopardy.

Pittosporum tanianum was first discovered in 1988 in New Caledonia. It was thought to have become Extinct in 1992, but in 2002 it was rediscovered and is now listed as critically Endangered. Three plants are now known to exist, giving this species a tenuous lifeline to avoid extinction. Loss and degradation of its sclerophyllous forest habitat is the main threat to the species - photo © Bernard SuprinBangkok, Thailand, IUCN - From the mighty shark to the humble frog, the world’s biodiversity is declining at unprecedented rates. Halting the growing extinction crisis will be a major concern for IUCN’s 1,000 plus member organisations attending the 3rd IUCN World Conservation Congress, which kicks off in Bangkok today.

The situation facing global biodiversity is clearly escalating and the 5,000 delegates, including representatives of the private sector, governmental and non-governmental organisations, will be outlining ways to halt this alarming trend. They will draw the attention of the international community to the fact that species loss has critical implications for human well-being, and that conserving biodiversity is central to managing the risks this poses to sustainable development.

There is some good news. Conservation measures are already making a difference – a quarter of the world’s threatened birds have benefited from such measures. What is needed is more of them, and to focus them better using the constantly improving information at our disposal. That means more resources, resources applied more effectively, and new coalitions across all sections of society.

Nectophrynoides viviparus is one of the few frogs that give birth to live young. This Vulnerable species occurs in the Uluguru and Udzungwa Mountains and in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. It is threatened by ongoing forest loss, especially at lower altitudes, due to agricultural encroachment, wood extraction and expanding human settlements - photo © David Moyer – Wildlife Conservation SocietyThese are among the key messages to emerge from the Global Species Assessment (GSA) based on, and released in conjunction with, the 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is the most comprehensive evaluation ever undertaken of the status of the world’s biodiversity. The GSA is produced by the Red List Consortium comprising IUCN and its Species Survival Commission, Conservation International and its Center for Applied Biodiversity Science, BirdLife International and NatureServe.

The Global Species Assessment shows trends in biodiversity over four years since the last major analysis in 2000, and it includes, for the first time, complete assessments of amphibians, cycads (an ancient group of plants) and conifers, as well as regional case studies. It also highlights which species are at greatest risk of extinction, where they occur, and the many threats facing them. Full story English, Francais, Espanol / 2004 IUCN Red List and Global Species Assessment launch website / www.redlist.org

SSC at the 3rd IUCN World Conservation Congress (17-25 November)

   

A ROADMAP FOR IMPROVING THE IUCN SPECIES SURVIVAL COMMISSION GLOBAL CONSERVATION TOOLS

SSC member Dr. Perran Ross receives the Harry Messel Conservation Leadership AwardIssues considered critical in furthering the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and the Species Information Service (SIS) were identified during the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) meeting. Taking place at the start of the 3rd IUCN World Conservation Congress in Bangkok, Thailand, the session defined ways of improving the usability of the two most well-known SSC tools. Full story.

SSC Chair David Brackett is standing down at the Congress having served two terms. Read the tribute to David and his contribution to both IUCN and SSC.

 

Profiles

   

ADVANCING INVERTEBRATE CONSERVATION - THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN INVERTEBRATE SPECIALIST GROUP

Marianne Forsyth (kneeling) and her technician Hermien, undertaking Varroa monitoring of honeybee populations on a provincial nature reserve (photo courtesy of Marianne Forsyth)The Southern African Invertebrate Specialist Group (SAISG) was the first regionally-based invertebrate Specialist Group to be created, to help overcome the limited coverage of invertebrates in the existing SSC Specialist Groups. Since its relatively recent establishment in 2001, this dynamic Group of 30 members has thrived and already plays a major role in invertebrate conservation in the region. It also has an international remit, with strong links to the Invertebrate Committee of the IUCN/SSC and the new international initiative on invertebrate conservation, the ‘Expanding the Ark Coalition.’ The Group and its members are the latest to be profiled here on the SSC website.

Other Specialist Group profiles

 
 
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