We are excited to announce several significant updates to the IUCN Red List status of sea turtle species and populations that were published in July 2019. The following updated assessments are now available on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (IUCN will make PDFs available soon):
- Kemp’s ridley, Global — Critically Endangered: A newly updated assessment of the Kemp’s ridley led by Thane Wibbels and Elizabeth Bevan incorporated a comprehensive reevaluation of historic population estimates based on the “Herrera film” and found that the population is still Critically Endangered due to its steep decline from historic abundance, though it has increased substantially since all-time lows in the 1970s. Details: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/11533/142050590
- Leatherback, Northwest Atlantic subpopulation — Endangered: The new Red List assessment of this population resulted in a change in status to Endangered from a previous status of Least Concern. This updated assessment was built on the work of the Northwest Atlantic Leatherback Working Group, which included a comprehensive evaluation of available nesting datasets through 2017. Details: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/46967827/83327767
- Green turtle, South Atlantic subpopulation — Least Concern: This is the first Red List assessment of this green turtle subpopulation and was led by assessors Annette Broderick and Ana Rita Patricio. An observed population increase throughout the subpopulation and a wide geographic distribution led to a status of ‘Least Concern’ for the subpopulation. Details: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/142121866/142086337
- Green turtle, North Indian Ocean subpopulation — Vulnerable: This is the first Red List assessment of this green turtle subpopulation and was led by assessors Agnese Mancini, Andrea Phillott, and ALan Rees. A status of Vulnerable resulted from observed population declines and continuing threats. Details: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/142121108/142122995
- Green turtle, Hawaiian subpopulation — Least Concern: The new Red List assessment of this green turtle subpopulation led by assessors Milani Chaloupka and Nicolas Pilcher concluded a status of Least Concern, unchanged since the previous assessment in 2012. Details: https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/16285718/142098300
Many thanks and congratulations are due to all of the assessors, reviewers, Marine Turtle Specialist Group members, and data providers who contributed to the completion of these valuable status assessments. These are significant, voluntary investments of time and expertise by these individuals and their efforts provide benefits to the broader sea turtle conservation community.