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Species Survival Commission

Perry Institute for Marine Science and IUCN Species Survival Commission -

A Partnership on behalf of Threatened Marine Species

The Perry Institute for Marine Science Threatened Marine Species Program operates as a partnership between Perry Institute for Marine Science and the Species Survival Commission of IUCN-The World Conservation Union. It is not a research program per se, but rather focuses on leveraging the results of scientific research to enhance marine conservation at the global level. The program provides support to the SSC Specialist Group expert network in their efforts to assess and monitor the threatened status of key marine species groups and promote their conservation, through communications, workshops, interventions in policy (such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species- CITES) and field and other research projects. We collaborate closely with the SSC Specialist Groups - the world's foremost expert networks - on the conservation of cetaceans, sirenians (dugongs and manatees), marine turtles, sharks, groupers and wrasses, and coral reef fishes. In addition, the program is working with SSC marine scientists in efforts to elucidate and heighten awareness of extinction vulnerability and extinction risk in marine species, in part through the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(TM), the world's most comprehensive, authoritative list of species at risk of extinction.

Current Activities

1. Preparation of Publication on Extinction in the Sea as a strategic issue for marine conservation, a 16 page booklet that summarizes the issue of marine extinction and endangerment as drawn from recent reviews of marine extinctions current findings of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and includes a CD-ROM featuring a set of technical resources, including an updated list of marine extinctions, a database on threatened marine species, and a set of case studies of threatened species. This will be published in English, French and Spanish in conjunction with IUCN-The World Conservation Union and distributed worldwide.

2. Research Report on CITES Review of Exploitation, Trade and Management of Marine Turtles in the Lesser Antilles, Central America, Colombia and Venezuela, a collaboration between Perry Institute for Marine Science, TRAFFIC International (the wildlife trade-monitoring program of World Wildlife Fund and IUCN) and WIDECAST, the Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network. An in-depth review that outlines actions to address gaps (in many instances, serious) in marine turtle conservation and management in 26 political jurisdictions across the Wider Caribbean, co-authored by Amie Bräutigam and Dr. Karen Eckert, Executive Director of WIDECAST. To be published by TRAFFIC in June-July 2005.

3. Coral Reef Fishes Workshop at University of East Anglia (UK), convened in collaboration with the university and the University of Guam Marine Laboratory to review the susceptibility to extinction threat of all coral reef fish families as a first step to formal Red List Assessment. To be held 25-26 April 2005.

4. Red List Workshop for Sirenians, convened by the SSC Sirenia Specialist Group (John Reynolds, Mote Marine Laboratory and Buddy Powell, Wildlife Trust) at the 9th International Mammalogical Congress in July-August 2005; co-sponsored by Perry Institute for Marine Science and the Wildlife Trust, with partial funding from the Marine Mammal Commission.

Projected Activities for 2005-2006

1. Development and Implementation of a Marine Extinctions Project, with an interactive website to present and collection information on suspected and confirmed marine extinctions, a grants facility and possible photo contest.

2. Collaboration with IUCN/SSC in developing and conducting a Global Marine Species Assessment, a major expansion of the IUCN Red List process for marine species.

3. Further development of Shatter the Myth initiative, including development of science, policy, and communications strategies and fundraising.

4. Threatened Status Assessments and Action Planning for Caribbean Coral Reef Fishes, in collaboration with the Coral Reef Fishes Specialist Group, University of Guam Marine Laboratory, and regional experts.

Core Capacity Needs

Successful development and delivery of these program efforts will depend on: free online access to research materials, namely scientific journals (such as through affiliation with a university); information technology expertise and support in relation to websites and databases; communications expertise and support; and research assistance, in support of the Marine Extinctions Project and Shatter the Myth initiative; and adequate administrative support.

Perry Institute for Marine Science
100 N. US Highway 1, Suite 202
Jupiter, FL 33477
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