Nicholas K. Dulvy | SSG Co-Chair
The reality is that while the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria fit on one page, the accompanying guidelines run to over 100 pages. It is hard to expect species experts to also be experts in the application of the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria and documentation standards after only a few hours of training which have traditionally been provided at SSG Red List workshops. The requirements to be fully trained in the application of the Categories and Criteria, along with preparing hundreds of assessments, are in fact very time-consuming.
This year the SSG was able to secure significant funding from the Shark Conservation Fund that will support the completion of the full reassessment of all species by 2020. Some might say, why bother with the reassessment? After all we already know the status of all species, as reported in the 2014 eLife paper (which so many of the SSG members contributed to). Well there are four reasons. First, IUCN assessments expire after a decade, and many of the original assessments date back to 2003. Second, new information and new species are coming to light ever more rapidly. Third, it is evident that there is considerable regional variation in species’ status within their global ranges that was not fully understood during the first assessments due to a lack of data. Finally, there is a bigger reason. It is increasingly clear that the scale of conservation challenges are far greater than those that have been faced to date. For example, sawfishes are extinct in South Africa, yet this nation managed to monitor and conserve their terrestrial megafauna against some of the most severe challenges in conservation. Chondrichthyan conservation needs to be placed on the world stage in order to garner appropriate resources to meet the rising crisis. In 2020, those Nations party to the Convention on Biological Diversity will evaluate progress toward the 2020 Aichi targets and set new targets for 2030. Through the Global Shark Trends Project, we have an opportunity to bring the plight of Chondrichthyans to the attention of this global stage.
With this new Global Shark Trends Project, we will produce:
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