In This Issue
The World Conservation Union (IUCN) has released an updated Red List of Threatened Species, one of the key tools used to determine the status of the Earth's biodiversity. Since the release of the last edition in September 2000, a number of significant changes have occurred. Over 400 new species assessments have been included, with 124 species entering one of the threatened categories. There are now 11,167 species threatened with extinction, with several new additions and notable shifts in status.
The Red List is based on information supplied by a network of 7,000 experts on plants and animals working in almost every country of the world, and data from a number of partner organizations, including BirdLife International, Conservation International, The Ocean Conservancy, and NatureServe.
The Saiga antelope (Saiga tatarica) is now considered Critically Endangered. Inhabiting the open dry steppe grasslands and semi-arid deserts of Central Asia, this species has undergone major population declines as a result of poaching for meat and for export of horns that are used in traditional medicine. In 2000, the population had decreased from over one million to less than 200,000. Current surveys indicate that less than 50,000 animals now remain in the wild.
The Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus) is close to becoming the first wild cat species to go extinct for at least 2,000 years. This Critically Endangered species occurs in Mediterranean woodland and maquis thicket. Habitat fragmentation by agricultural development has resulted in population decline. Human control of the abundant rabbit population in Europe resulted in the disappearance of the lynx's principal prey. With the main food source decimated, the lynx population has crashed.
Mexican and Brazilian cactus assessments have been added to the list, bringing the total number of threatened plant species up to 5,714. The true count of threatened plant species is much higher as only approximately 4 percent of the world's described plants have been evaluated. Trees make up the majority of the listed plant species, since these have been relatively thoroughly assessed.
Seven species have been added to the list as Extinct or Extinct in the Wild, bringing the total to 811 species. These species include the sea mink (Mustela macrodon) which was last seen in 1860, and the Réunion Island sheldgoose (Mascarenachen kervazoi) which became extinct around 1710.
Mammillaria glochidiata is one of two endemic Mexican cactus species declared Extinct in the Wild. A very small population of this cactus, estimated at 50 individuals and confined to a single location, was found in 1991. A visit in 1993 showed a reduction in population size to about 15 individuals. During two later visits, including an extensive search of the canyon in which it occurred, no plants were found.
Two species previously assessed as Extinct have been rediscovered - the Lord Howe Island stick insect (Dryococelus australis) and the Bavarian pine vole (Microtus bavaricus). The stick insect was believed to have become extinct in 1920 after the introduction of rats to Lord Howe Island, but was rediscovered in 2001. It is estimated that the island currently supports fewer than 50 mature individuals, and thus is considered Critically Endangered. No specimens of the pine vole were recorded after 1962, but a small population of this species was found in 2000, just across the German-Austrian border. Further research is required to determine the population size of this species.
"On the Red List, all species are treated with equal importance - the humble Bavarian pine vole stands alongside the African rhino," said IUCN Director General, Achim Steiner. "It provides the international benchmark to help guide effective biodiversity conservation."
Indonesia, India, Brazil and China are among the countries with the most threatened mammals and birds, while plant species are declining rapidly in South and Central America, Central and West Africa, and Southeast Asia. Habitat loss and degradation affect 89 percent of all threatened birds, 83 percent of mammals, and 91 percent of threatened plants assessed.
The 2002 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is the first of an annual update of the Red List database which is housed on its own, searchable website <http://www.redlist.org>. The figures will change annually as new species assessments are included, currently-listed species are re-assessed, and species undergo taxonomic revisions.
The Center for Tropical Forest Science-Arnold Arboretum (CTFS-AA) Asia Program of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) coordinates a network of long-term research programs in the tropical forests of eight Asian countries. Postdoctoral fellows are sought in forest ecology and the evolution and biogeography of forest communities. Strong analytical background preferred; established record of research and scholarly publication in tropical forest ecology or evolution required. Field experience is not essential. The positions are based at Harvard University. Send CV and names of three references to: Stuart Davies, CTFS-AA Asia Program, The Arnold Arboretum, Harvard University, 22 Divinity Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA; E-mail: <firstname.lastname@example.org>. The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University and Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute are equal opportunity/affirmative action employers.
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Campbell, V.V., Rowe, G., Beebee, T.J.C., and Hutchings, M.J. 2002. Isolation and characterization of microsatellite primers for the fragrant orchid Gymnadenia conopsea (L.) R. Brown (Orchidaceae). Conserv. Genet. 3(2):209-210.
Chinea, J.D. 2002. Tropical forest succession on abandoned farms in the Humacao Municipality of eastern Puerto Rico. Forest Ecol. Manag. 167(1-3):195-207.
Croxton, P.J., Carvell, C., Mountford, J.O., and Sparks, T.H. 2002. A comparison of green lanes and field margins as bumblebee habitat in an arable landscape. Biol. Conserv. 107(3):365-374.
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Davenport, T.R.B. 2002. Tanzania's new national park to protect orchids. Oryx 36(3):224.
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Dolar, M.L.L., Perrin, W.F., Gaudiano, J.P., Yaptinchay, A.A.S.P., and Tan, J.M.L. 2002. Preliminary report on a small estuarine population of Irrawaddy dolphins Orcaella brevirostris in the Philippines. Raffles Bull. Zool. Suppl. 10:155-160.
Dolev, A., Saltz, D., Bar-David, S., and Yom-Tov, Y. 2002. Impact of repeated releases on space-use patterns of Persian fallow deer. J. Wildlife Manag. 66(3):737-746.
Domingo-Roura, X. 2002. Genetic distinction of marten species by fixation of a microsatellite region. J. Mammal. 83(3):907-912.
Duchesne, P., and Bernatchez, L. 2002. An analytical investigation of the dynamics of inbreeding in multi-generation supportive breeding. Conserv. Genet. 3(1):47-60.
Edge, T.A., and Gilhen, J. 2001. Updated status report on the endangered Atlantic whitefish, Coregonus huntsmani. Can. Field-Natural. 115(4):635-652.
Everard, M., and Powell, A. 2002. Rivers as living systems. Aquat. Conserv. 12(4):329-337.
Fenton, M.B., Taylor, P.J., Jacobs, D.S., Richardson, E.J., Bernard, E., Bouchard, S., Debaeremaeker, K.R., ter Hofstede, H., Hollis, L., Lausen, C.L., Lister, J.S., Rambaldini, D., Ratcliffe, J.M., and Reddy, E. 2002. Researching little-known species: the African bat Otomops martiensseni (Chiroptera: Molossidae). Biodivers. Conserv. 11(9):1583-1606.
Feria, T.P., and Peterson, A.T. 2002. Prediction of bird community composition based on point-occurrence data and inferential algorithms: a valuable tool in biodiversity assessments. Divers. Distrib. 8(2):49-56.
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Findlay, S.E.G., Kiviat, E., Nieder, W.C., and Blair, E.A. 2002. Functional assessment of a reference wetland set as a tool for science, management and restoration. Aquat. Sci. 64(2):107-117.
Fineschi, S., Anzidei, M., Cafasso, D., Cozzolino, S., Garfi, G., Pastorelli, R., Salvini, D., Taurchini, D., and Vendramin, G.G. 2002. Molecular markers reveal a strong genetic differentiation between two European relic tree species: Zelkova abelicea (Lam.) Boissier and Z. sicula Di Pasquale, Garfi & Quézel (Ulmaceae). Conserv. Genet. 3(2):145-153.
Frutos, S.D., and Van den Bussche, R.A. 2002. Genetic diversity and gene flow in nine-banded armadillos in Paraguay. J. Mammal. 83(3):815-823.
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Geslin, T., Lefeuvre, J.C., Le Pajolec, Y., Questiau, S., and Eybert, M.C. 2002. Salt exploitation and landscape structure in a breeding population of the threatened bluethroat (Luscinia svecica) in salt-pans in western France. Biol. Conserv. 107(3):283-289.
Ghazoul, J. 2002. Flowers at the front line of invasion? Ecol. Entomol. 27(5):638-640.
Gifford, A.L.S., Ferdy, J.B., and Molofsky, J. 2002. Genetic composition and morphological variation among populations of the invasive grass, Phalaris arundinacea. Can. J. Bot. 80(7):779-785.
Githaiga-Mwicigi, J.M.W., Fairbanks, D.H.K., and Midgley, G. 2002. Hierarchical processes define spatial pattern of avian assemblages restricted and endemic to the arid Karoo, South Africa. J. Biogeogr. 29(8):1067-1087.
Gonzalez, L.M., Cedenilla, M.A., de Larrinoa, P.F., Layna, J.F., and Aparicio, F. 2002. Changes in the breeding variables of the Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) colony of Cabo Blanco Peninsula after a mass mortality episode. Mammalia 66(2):173-182.
González-Iturbe, J.A., Olmsted, I., and Tun-Dzul, F. 2002. Tropical dry forest recovery after long term Henequen (sisal, Agave fourcroydes Lem.) plantation in northern Yucatan, Mexico. Forest Ecol. Manag. 167(1-3):67-82.
Goodchild, C.D. 2001. The status of the Mira River population of lake whitefish, Coregonus clupeaformis, in Canada. Can. Field-Natural. 115(4):623-634.
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Greenslade, P. 2002. Assessing the risk of exotic Collembola invading subantarctic islands: prioritising quarantine management. Pedobiologia 46(3-4):338-344.
Greenwood, K.S., and Thorp, J.H. 2001. Aspects of ecology and conservation of sympatric, prosobranch snails in a large river. Hydrobiologia 455:229-236.
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Griffiths, T. 2002. How many trees make a forest? Cultural debates about vegetation change in Australia. Aust. J. Bot. 50(4):375-389.
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Hamer, A.J., Lane, S.J., and Mahony, M.J. 2002. The role of introduced mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) in excluding the native green and golden bell frog (Litoria aurea) from original habitats in south-eastern Australia. Oecologia 132(3):445-452.
Hampe, A., and Arroyo, J. 2002. Recruitment and regeneration in populations of an endangered South Iberian Tertiary relict tree. Biol. Conserv. 107(3):263-271.
Hänfling, B., Carvalho, G.R., and Brandl, R. 2002. mt-DNA sequences and possible invasion pathways of the Chinese mitten crab. Mar. Ecol. Progr. Ser. 238:307-310.
Hatfield, T. 2001. Status of the stickleback species pair, Gasterosteus spp., in Hadley Lake, Lasqueti Island, British Columbia. Can. Field-Natural. 115(4):579-583.
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Hauser, T.P. 2002. Frost sensitivity of hybrids between wild and cultivated carrots. Conserv. Genet. 3(1):75-78.
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Heidinga, L., and Wilson, S.D. 2002. The impact of an invading alien grass (Agropyron cristatum) on species turnover in native prairie. Divers. Distrib. 8(5):249-258.
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Hendrix, P.F., and Bohlen, P.J. 2002. Exotic earthworm invasions in North America: ecological and policy implications. BioScience 52(9):801-811.
Hilderbrand, R.H. 2002. Simulating supplementation strategies for restoring and maintaining stream resident cutthroat trout populations. North Am. J.Fish. Manag. 22(3):879-887.
Hill, M.F., Hastings, A., and Botsford, L.W. 2002. The effects of small dispersal rates on extinction times in structured metapopulation models. Am. Nat. 160(3):389-402.
Holm, E., Dumont, P., Leclerc, J., Roy, G., and Crossman, E.J. 2001. Status of the bridle shiner, Notropis bifrenatus, in Canada. Can. Field-Natural. 115(4):614-622.
Hölzel, N., Haub, C., Ingelfinger, M.P., Otte, A., and Pilipenko, V.N. 2002. The return of the steppe - large-scale restoration of degraded land in southern Russia during the post-Soviet era. J. Nature Conserv. 10(2):75-86.
Hosack, D.A., Miller, P.S., Hervert, J.J., and Lacy, R.C. 2002. A population viability analysis for the endangered Sonoran pronghorn, Antilocapra americana sonoriensis. Mammalia 66(2):207-229.
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Hubbs, C., Edwards, R.J., and Garrett, G.P. 2002. Threatened fishes of the world: Gambusia gaigei Hubbs, 1929 (Poeciliidae). Environ. Biol. Fish. 65(1):82.
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Izhaki, I., Shmueli, M., Arad, Z., Steinberg, Y., and Crivelli, A. 2002. Satellite tracking of migratory and ranging behavior of immature great white pelicans. Waterbirds 25(3):295-304.
Jamieson, G.S. 2001. Review of the status of the northern abalone, Haliotis kamtschatkana, in Canada. Can. Field-Natural. 115(4):555-563.
Janis, M.W., and Clark, J.D. 2002. Responses of Florida panthers to recreational deer and hog hunting. J. Wildlife Manag. 66(3):839-848.
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Jimenez, I. 2002. Heavy poaching in prime habitat: the conservation status of the West Indian manatee in Nicaragua. Oryx 36(3):272-278.
Kaiser, J. 2002. ESA and Society for Ecological Restoration meeting: an ecological oasis in the desert. Science 297(5587):1635-1637.
Kammer, P.M. 2002. Floristic changes in subalpine grasslands after 22 years of artificial snowing. J. Nature Conserv. 10(2):109-124.
Kelley, C., Garson, J., Aggarwal, A., and Sarkar, S. 2002. Place prioritization for biodiversity reserve network design: a comparison of the SITES and ResNet software packages for coverage and efficiency. Divers. Distrib. 8(5):297-306.
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Knaepkens, G., Bruyndoncx, L., Bervoets, L., and Eens, M. 2002. The presence of artificial stones predicts the occurrence of the European bullhead (Cottus gobio) in a regulated lowland river in Flanders (Belgium). Ecol. Freshw. Fish 11(3):203-206.
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Kumba, F.F., Kaurivi, J.Z.U., and Katjivena, H. 2002. A project of indigenous communities in Namibia to cultivate Harpagophytum procumbens. Med. Plant Conserv. 8:24-27.
Kurttila, M., Uuttera, J., Mykrä, S., Kurki, S., and Pukkala, T. 2002. Decreasing the fragmentation of old forests in landscapes involving multiple ownership in Finland: economic, social and ecological consequences. Forest Ecol. Manag. 166(1-3):69-84.
Lachance, S. 2001. Report on the situation of the redfin pickerel, Esox americanus americanus, in Canada. Can. Field-Natural. 115(4):597-607.
Lagos-Witte, S. 2002. Conservation of medicinal plants in Central America and the Caribbean: a GEF project begins. Med. Plant Conserv. 8:21-24.
Laird, S.A., and Pierce, A.R. 2002. Strategies to promote sustainable and ethical raw material sourcing in the botanicals industry: results from an industry survey. Med. Plant Conserv. 8:9-14.
Lange, D. 2002. The role of east and southeast Europe in the medicinal and aromatic plants' trade. Med. Plant Conserv. 8:14-18.
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Ledig, F.T., Hodgskiss, P.D., and Jacob-Cervantes, V. 2002. Genetic diversity, mating system, and conservation of a Mexican subalpine relict, Picea mexicana Martínez. Conserv. Genet. 3(2):113-122.
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Lesage, V., and Hammill, M.O. 2001. The status of the grey seal, Halichoerus grypus, in the northwest Atlantic. Can. Field-Natural. 115(4):653-662.
Liebherr, J.K., and Song, H.J. 2002. Distinct ground beetle (Coleoptera: Carabidae) assemblages within a New York State wetland complex. J. New York Entomol. Soc. 110(1):127-141.
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Lode, T. 2002. An endangered species as indicator of freshwater quality: fractal diagnosis of fragmentation within a European mink, Mustela lutreola, population. Arch. Hydrobiol. 155(1):163-176.
Loman, J. 2002. Rana temporaria metamorph production and population dynamics in the field. Effects of tadpole density, predation and pond drying. J. Nature Conserv. 10(2):95-108.
Luiselli, L., and Akani, G.C. 2002. An investigation into the composition, complexity and functioning of snake communities in the mangroves of south-eastern Nigeria. Afr. J. Ecol. 40(3):220-227.
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