Hawaiian Green Turtle Red List Assessment Submitted to IUCN


UPDATE (1/30/2012): After review by IUCN, the Red List Assessment of Hawaiian green turtles has been revised and is pending re-submission. See this post for details.

The final version of a Red List Assessment of the Hawaiian subpopulation of green turtles (Chelonia mydas) was completed by Nicolas Pilcher, Milani Chaloupka, and Erin Woods and submitted by the MTSG to IUCN for consideration this week. This follows a review of the draft assessment by the entire MTSG and the Assessment Steering Committee, and multiple rounds of revision. Continue reading

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New MTSG Publication Defines Global Priorities for Marine Turtle Conservation

We are pleased to announce the results of the first comprehensive status assessment of all sea turtle populations globally in a paper published today in the journal PLoS ONE.  The study, designed to provide a blueprint for marine turtle conservation and research, evaluated the risk and status of each of the 58 marine turtle “Regional Management Units” and determined the 11 most threatened populations (listed below), as well as the 12 healthiest populations, and 12 “critical data needs.” The full paper is available here. Continue reading

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Scientists Estimate 90% Reduction in Accidental Sea Turtle Deaths in U.S. Fisheries

A loggerhead turtle escapes from a trawl net equipped with a turtle excluder device (TED). Image courtesy of NOAA.

A study published this month (PDF available here) estimates that the number of sea turtles accidentally caught and killed in United States coastal waters has declined by an estimated 90-percent since 1990, a dramatic reduction achieved in fisheries where specific regulations have been implemented to reduce bycatch. The report, published in the scientific journal Biological Conservation, is the first attempt to make a cumulative estimate of sea turtle bycatch and mortality from interactions with U.S. fisheries. Continue reading

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Brazil Publishes National Red List Assessments for Marine Turtles

A hawksbill turtle swims off the coast of Brazil. Hawksbills are one of five marine turtle species found in Brazil. Image courtesy of TAMAR.

In order to define the actions most needed to protect Brazil’s national fauna, the conservation status of each species must be assessed to identify primary threats, sites of importance for protection, and compatibility with human activities. Such status assessments also provide a basis for the National List of Endangered Species, which, as a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Brazilian government is obligated to maintain.

In October 2009, ICMBio (the Brazilian federal agency for biodiversity conservation) started a process to evaluate the conservation status of Brazil’s sea turtles, which was carried out in accordance with IUCN criteria for regional Red List assessments. Continue reading

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MTSG Co-Chair Dr. Nicolas Pilcher Honored as an IUCN Conservation Hero

Photo of Nicolas Pilcher

Assisted by his daughter Leilana, Nick conducts a laparoscopic examination of a turtle in Australia.

Marine Turtle Specialist Group Co-Chair Dr. Nicolas Pilcher is honored this month as one of IUCN’s Conservation Heroes for his extensive work in marine turtle conservation. Based in Sabah, Malaysia where he founded Marine Research Foundation, a local non-profit organization, Nick has worked throughout the world to establish and support marine turtle conservation programs. This includes ongoing collaborations with local communities, fishermen, and businesses in the Middle East, Asia, and the Pacific region. To learn more about Nick’s work, head over to IUCN’s website to see the full profile.

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