Objective of the Forum


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Welcome to the IUCN Red List assessment online discussion forum!

 

This website was created as a portal to a series of forums developed to assist with ongoing species conservation assessments using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. These so far include forums designed to support the global reassessment of threatened amphibian species, and to assist with completing the first global assessment of reptiles. Each of these broad assessment projects will be supported by multiple forums, each typically focusing on a single geographical region.

 

Each forum is meant to complement the various other ways of conducting assessments, principally assessment workshops. They take the form of online discussion forums and are managed by IUCN Species Survival Commission members, either Specialist Groups or SSC staff.

 

There are several ways by which conservation assessments can be developed, which include 1) region-focused assessment workshops, 2) one-on-one consultation with experts, usually through some electronic medium such as email or Skype, and 3) online discussion forums. The first two have been the standard approaches used thus far where IUCN’s global assessments are concerned, but the latter approach has been successfully implemented by BirdLife International to assess globally threatened bird species for a number of years now.

 

Assessment workshops remain a vital tool for bringing together key members of the biology communities involved and they allow the involvement of specialists with limited technological literacy or reliable internet access. The assessment forum will complement the workshop process by permitting assessments to be completed for areas where resource availability, the priorities of funding organizations and conservation partners, or logistical challenges make holding a traditional assessment workshop unfeasible, or for reassessments where the number of species treated or the expected volume of novel data that could be collected would make a workshop cost-inefficient.

 

The main goal of this forum is to provide a medium whereby invited experts can contribute information and provide input towards the global conservation assessment of selected groups of animal and plant species. Assessment-relevant information includes details on a species’ distribution, population status and/or trends, natural history, threats and conservation actions. Typically draft species assessments will be prepared for all recognized species in the region of interest, and forum users will be able to contribute to each of these assessments. Users can also propose that additional species be assessed if these are missing from the original species list (e.g. due to recent taxonomic changes or new data indicating that extralimital species range into the region).

 

The forum is designed primarily to address the large number of assessments that need to be undertaken in order to complete ongoing global assessments or reassessments. Where new, recently described species from previously assessed regions are concerned, assessments are more likely to be undertaken on a one-on-one basis with describing authors by coordinators of the appropriate IUCN Red List Authorities.

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