IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) E-Bulletin - August 2003

This monthly Bulletin, as a supplement to SPECIES, SSC's published
newsletter, is to keep staff, members and the wider IUCN network up-to-date
with news and announcements from the Commission. This issue and all previous
issues are available on the SSC website at: http://www.iucn.org/themes/ssc/
<http://www.iucn.org/themes/ssc/>

In this issue

SSC AT THE Vth WORLD PARKS CONGRESS
SSC PLANT CONSERVATION COMMITTEE MEETING
EXPERTS GATHER TO FORM SPRINGBOARD FOR SHARK CONSERVATION IN AFRICA
VETERINARY SPECIALIST GROUP IN THE SPOTLIGHT
SSC INPUT TO CITES PLANTS AND ANIMALS COMMITTEE MEETINGS
NEW SSC INTERNS
NEW CUBA PLANT SPECIALIST GROUP
SSC SPECIALIST GROUPS COLLABORATE ON REINTRODUCTION OF GALLIFORMES
GUIDELINES


SSC AT THE WORLD PARKS CONGRESS
The Species Programme, along with all other parts of IUCN is busy gearing up
for the Vth World Parks Congress which begins on Monday 8 September in
Durban (see the Congress website (http://www.iucn.org/themes/wcpa/wpc2003/
<http://www.iucn.org/themes/wcpa/wpc2003/> ). SSC staff and members are
having a significant input into the Congress programme particularly to the
"building comprehensive protected area systems" and "evaluating management
effectiveness" workshop streams. Highlights will include an SSC members'
reception, a dialogue on extinction in the sea (introducing SSC's new
initiative to improve the management of marine species), a workshop on the
Precautionary Principle in protected area management, and a Global Strategy
for Plant Conservation workshop. There will also be a SSC stand in the
Congress Exhibition. An information pack covering all aspects of SSC's
involvement in the Congress is available on the SSC website:
http://www.iucn.org/themes/ssc/ <http://www.iucn.org/themes/ssc/>

SSC PLANT CONSERVATION COMMITTEE MEETING
Just before the Congress (6-7 September), the SSC Plant Conservation
Committee will meet at the Durban Botanic Gardens. One of the main topics
for discussion will be the stakeholder consultation on the Convention on
Biological Diversity's Global Strategy for Plant Conservation Target 2. This
is to provide a preliminary assessment of the conservation status of all
known plant species at national, regional, and international levels.  SSC is
grateful to all those who have provided input so far.

EXPERTS GATHER TO FORM SPRINGBOARD FOR SHARK CONSERVATION IN AFRICA
The SSC Shark Specialist Group is taking advantage of the presence of
international shark experts at the World Parks Congress to host a Red List
workshop for Subequatorial African species. For the first time, the
conservation status of sharks and rays in this region will be assessed,
which it is hoped will generate more effective conservation for these
species that are threatened by over-fishing and the rising demand for
shark-fin soup. Subequatorial Africa is one of the most diverse regions for
sharks and rays, containing over 260 species (about 25% of the world's known
species). Although there is a significant lack of information on the status
of many of the species in African waters, several sharks and related species
are already known to be globally threatened including the Great White, Whale
Shark, Spotted Ragged-Tooth Shark, Giant Guitarfish, Sawfishes and several
species of rays. See the full news release
http://www.iucn.org/info_and_news/press/prsharkdurban.pdf
<http://www.iucn.org/info_and_news/press/prsharkdurban.pdf>

VETERINARY SPECIALIST GROUP IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Increasingly, conservation efforts are incorporating wildlife health
considerations into their plans. The SSC Veterinary Specialist Group (VSG)
with its global network of experts in various aspects of wildlife health,
provides advice on health and disease issues to government agencies,
conservation organizations, and zoos around the world. In the latest in our
series of Specialist Group profiles, the VSG's nine regional coordinators
are profiled, reflecting the great diversity of work being carried out by
the group in all corners of the globe. Read on:
http://www.iucn.org/themes/ssc/sgprofiles/vetsg.htm
<http://www.iucn.org/themes/ssc/sgprofiles/vetsg.htm>

SSC INPUT TO CITES PLANTS AND ANIMALS COMMIITTEE MEETINGS
IUCN/SSC played a key role as technical advisor and contributor in both the
Plants and Animals Committee meetings of CITES, the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, that took
place in Geneva in August. Both Committees discussed the issue of reviewing
the criteria for listing on CITES Appendices and identified lists of species
for testing the criteria. Progress on species recommendations for the
Significant Trade Review was examined as this has become a key component of
CITES implementation. Information was also presented on the first
country-based Significant Trade Review in Madagascar. In particular, the
contributions of several SSC Specialist Groups was noted by Parties - the
Cycad, Medicinal Plant, Orchid, Global Tree, Crocodile, Freshwater Turtle
and Tortoise, and Shark groups. See the full news release:
http://www.iucn.org/info_and_news/press/citesaug03.pdf
<http://www.iucn.org/info_and_news/press/citesaug03.pdf>

NEW SSC INTERNS
IUCN's Innovation, Integration, Information and Communication Initiative, or
3IC Fund, is supporting an intern based in SSC's Wildlife Trade Programme
office, in Cambridge, UK, for nine months. Thomasina Oldfield has worked in
Ecuador, Nepal and South Africa as well as conducting a study in the UK into
hunting as an incentive for biodiversity conservation that was recently
reported in the journal Nature. She will work with partners such as the SSC
Sustainable Use Specialist Groups, TRAFFIC, and IUCN's Regional Offices for
South America and Asia to promote understanding of ways to achieve
sustainability in use of wild species.

Thomas Lowe has also recently joined the SSC team as an intern. Tom is
working with the Freshwater Biodiversity Programme also in Cambridge, UK,
initially helping with the management of the Programme's East Africa
Project. Tom is in the last stages of an MSc in Environment and Development
at the University of East Anglia.

NEW CUBA PLANT SPECIALIST GROUP
Cuba has some of the most threatened plant species in the world including
many that are endemic to the island. SSC has established a new Cuba Plant
Specialist Group which is being led by Dr Angela Leiva, Director General of
Havana's Botanic Garden. Dr Leiva has long been active in the assessment and
conservation of this unique flora working closely with SSC's Conservation
Breeding Specialist Group in their Conservation Assessment and Management
Programmes (CAMPs). The new group will continue work on a preliminary
assessment of the Cuban flora.

SSC SPECIALIST GROUPS COLLABORATE ON REINTRODUCTION GUIDELINES FOR
GALLIFORMES
There is an increasing interest in many parts of the world in
reintroductions as a conservation tool for Galliformes (game birds). Of the
reintroductions carried out so far, not all have been successful and there
is a clear need for best practice guidelines to steer these efforts. SSC's
Reintroduction Specialist Group and the World Pheasant Association with
SSC's five Galliformes Specialist Groups have teamed up to develop
Guidelines for the Reintroduction of Galliformes, based on the principles
outlined in the 1995 IUCN Guidelines for Reintroductions.

If you would like more information on any of the items included in this
issue or wish to submit an item to future issues, please contact Anna Knee
at alk@iucn.org; tel: +41 (0)22 999 0153.


----------------------
Anna Knee
Communications Officer
IUCN - Species Programme
Rue Mauverney 28
CH-1196 Gland
Switzerland
Tel: +41 (0)22 999 0153
Fax: +41 (0)22 999 0015
Species Survival Commission website: www.iucn.org/themes/ssc
<www.iucn.org/themes/ssc>