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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MTSG develops linkage with Wildlife Health Specialist Group

The Marine Turtle Specialist Group (MTSG) recently linked up with the Wildlife Health Specialist Group (WHSG) and appointed MTSG and WHSG member Dr. Thierry Work to serve as a link between the two groups. Continue reading

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New article: “Better science needed for restoration in the Gulf of Mexico”

In an article released today in the journal Science, a team of scientists (which includes six MTSG members) argue that improved science and a focus on prioritization of research activities is needed to ensure effective recovery efforts for sea turtles and other threatened species in the Gulf of Mexico. The article urges for a greater investment in focused research activities as part of the oil spill recovery efforts, and highlights seven elements that should be integrated into any such research. Beyond recovery efforts in the Gulf, the authors make a compelling case for the U.S. to develop “strategic national research plans for key marine species and ecosystems based on evaluation of cause and effect and on integrated monitoring of abundance and demographic traits.” Continue reading

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New MTSG Publication Defines “Regional Management Units” for Sea Turtles Globally

An article co-authored by more than 25 MTSG members was released today in the open-access journal Public Library of Science (PLoS) ONE.  Entitled “Regional Management Units for Marine Turtles: A Novel Framework for Prioritizing Conservation and Research across Multiple Scales,” this paper is the product of more than two years of work by the MTSG’s Burning Issues Working Group and input from the entire MTSG membership. A summary of the paper and its findings is below, and the paper is available online here. The Regional Management Units and all associated data may also be viewed here in an interactive, GIS-driven platform hosted by OBIS-SEAMAP as part of the SWOT mapping platform. Continue reading

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Updates from the Convention on Biological Diversity meeting in Nagoya

The 10th Conference of the Parties (CoP) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is happening right now, from October 18 to 29, in Nagoya, Japan. Thousands of decision makers are attending this important meeting to discuss a plan for biodiversity conservation over the next ten years.

Due to its global role in biodiversity conservation, IUCN has a long history with the CBD and a significant presence at the current CoP.  In order to keep the rest of us up to date with respect to what is happening in Nagoya, staff from the IUCN Species Survival Commission have set up a web page where they are posting relevant updates from the conference. This is a great place to stay informed about this important meeting, and to hear about some of the highlights. See it for yourself by clicking here.

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