2017 Photo Gallery

 

Mammals

Orcaella brevirostris

The Irrawaddy Dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) moved from Vulnerable (VU) to Endangered (EN) in 2017 as substantial and increasing mortality from bycatch in fisheries throughout its range continues to threaten the population. This threat was identified in previous assessments of Irrawaddy Dolphin; this has not been addressed and is unlikely to be mitigated in most of the affected areas in the near future. The most severe threat to most subpopulations is incidental mortality from entanglement in fishing gear, particularly gillnets, but degradation in water quality from mining, deforestation and pollution in the region, as well destructive fishing methods have also contributed. Habitat loss, particularly from river dams, and fixed fishing gear also significantly contribute to the decline of this dolphin. In particular, experts believe that dam construction in the Mekong river mainstream, could cause the extinction of Irrawaddy Dolphins in the Mekong. Photo © Isabel Beasley

Neophocaena asiaeorientalis

Found mainly in coastal waters, estuaries, and large rivers, the charismatic Narrow-ridged Finless Porpoise (Neophocaena asiaeorientalis) moved from Vulnerable (VU) to Endangered (EN) in 2017. This species is extremely susceptible to entanglement in gillnets, and large numbers have been, and continue to be, killed by this in many parts of their range. Changes in fishing methods and the use of acoustic deterrents may have reduced incidental catch in some areas (e.g., in western Kyushu, Japan) but substantial numbers are still being taken in gillnets and other fishing gear. Additional threats from extensive modification of coastlines for shrimp farming and harbour (and other) developments throughout East Asia are also contributing to the continuing decline of this species. Photo © Xiaoqiang Wang

Giant Eland_Tragelaphus derbianus

Giant Eland (Tragelaphus derbianus) is the largest antelope species, with highly distinctive tightly spiralled “V” shaped horns. This west and central African antelope moved from Least Concern (LC) to Vulnerable (VU) in 2017. In 1999 an estimated 15,000-20,000 Giant Eland existed. However, political instability and civil conflict in parts of its range over the last 10-15 years have greatly disrupted protection and management in Protected Areas (PAs). In addition, poaching (for bushmeat) and encroachment by farmers and livestock owners into protected areas have increased. Overall the global population is now estimated to be no more than 12,000-14,000 and is declining. Photo © Brent Huffman / UltimateUngulate

Nancy Ma’s Night Monkey_Aotus nancymaae

Habitat loss through conversion of forests for agriculture, and capture of wild animals for biomedical research and the pet trade have caused a population decline of at least 30% over the last 25 years for the charismatic Nancy Ma’s Night Monkey (Aotus nancymaae). This decline, which is ongoing, resulted in the species moving from Least Concern to Vulnerable (VU) on The IUCN Red List in 2017. Illegal trade of night monkeys for malaria research is of particular concern for this species, as it is drastically affecting wild populations in the tri-border area of Brazil, Colombia and Peru. Photo © Aotus 3-B. Wittemann: Benjamin Wittemann – Fundacion Entropika
Mono nocturno25: Los Informantes – Caracol TV.

Rodrigues Flying Fox_Pteropus rodricensis

Thanks to ongoing conservation actions, including a successful captive breeding programme involving 46 zoos around the world, restoration of natural habitat, watershed protection, and awareness raising and education programmes, the status of the Rodrigues Flying Fox (Pteropus rodricensis) improved enough to move the species into a less threatened category in 2017; it moved from Critically Endangered to Endangered (EN). Its population has increased from just 4,000 in 2003 to an estimated 20,000 individuals in 2016. While this move to a less threatened category is good news, the future survival of this species very much depends on continued conservation efforts and future climate change scenarios, as severe tropical cyclones can cause mortalities of over 50% for this species. Photo © Kevin Boulton

Christmas Island Pipistrelle_Pipistrellus murrayi

The Christmas Island Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus murrayi) was declared Extinct (EX) on The IUCN Red List in 2017, after extensive surveys since its last record in August 2009 failed to find the species again. Christmas Island (Australia) is in the eastern Indian Ocean, and this was the only Pipistrelle bat species on the island. Ultrasonic bat detectors were therefore very effective at finding individuals, as it was readily recorded and could not be confused with other species. So there is a high degree of certainty that this species is now Extinct. The reasons for the decline and extinction of this bat are unclear. Habitat loss may have caused some declines in the past, but this does not fully explain the complete loss of this species. Predation and disturbance by invasive species, habitat change and reduced invertebrate prey due to introduced Yellow Crazy Ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes), and possibly an unknown disease may all have contributed to its demise. Photo © Lindy Lumsden

Eudorcas tilonura_Heuglin's Gazelle

Heuglin's Gazelle (Eudorcas tilonura) ranges from east of the River Nile between southern Sudan, northern Ethiopia and western Eritrea. In 2017 the species moved from Vulnerable to Endangered (EN) as the small global population of this species declined by at least 20% since its previous assessment (in 2008). In 1999, the population was estimated as 3,500-4,000, but by 2016 this had declined to no more than 2,500-3,500. Poaching, competition with domestic livestock, habitat degradation, and ineffective protection in most of its range are responsible for the continuing decline of this gazelle. Photo © Håkan Pohlstrand

Reptiles

Goniurosaurus splendens

The charismatic Banded Ground Gecko (Goniurosaurus splendens) made its debut on The IUCN Red List in 2017, entering the list as Endangered (EN). Restricted to the single Japanese island of Tokunoshima (in the Ryukyu Archipelago), habitat loss and fragmentation due to farmland development, road construction and deforestation (especially in the lowland areas) are putting pressure on this species. It is likely that this gecko is also captured for the international pet trade, representing an additional pressure on the population Photo © Shusaku Sugimoto

Cryptoblepharus egeriae

The Christmas Island Blue-tailed Shinning-skink (Cryptoblepharus egeriae) enters the Red List as Extinct in the Wild (EW) following a dramatic decline in numbers since the late 1970s due to predation from the introduced Wolf Snake (Lycodon capucinus). A captive breeding programme has been set up the Christmas Island Nation Park to prevent the extinction of this species. The intention is to eventually reintroduce the species, however, reintroduction to the wild is not feasible for the foreseeable future as currently, it is not possible to eradicate Wolf Snakes, or the other exotic predators, on the island. It isn’t all bleak news, however, as trials are now underway to release captive animals into outdoor enclosures protected from these predators. Photo © Harold G. Cogger

Takydromus toyamai

Previously assessed in 2009 as Endangered (EN), the Miyako Grass Lizard (Takydromus toyamai) was reassessed in 2017, remaining in the Endangered (EN) category. This species is endemic to the Miyako Islands Group of the Southern Ryukyusm, Japan. It is threatened by predation from introduced species, and habitat loss and degradation due to ongoing land development within its range. This species is protected and harvest is forbidden under a local regulation in Miyakojima city, but continued monitoring and conservation actions are required to prevent the species from declining further in future. Photo © N. Kidera

Emoia nativitatis

Endemic to Christmas Island, the Christmas Island Whiptail-skink (Emoia nativitatis) was declared Extinct (EX) on The IUCN Red List in 2017 after extensive surveys since 2010 failed to find any individuals. A captive breeding project was attempted for this species, but unfortunately, this failed; the last known individual died in captivity in 2014. The dramatic decline and extinction of this species was likely due to the impact of a range of introduced species on Christmas Island, including the Yellow Crazy Ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes) and Indian Wolf Snake (Lycodon capucinus), compounded by a reduction in its natural forest habitat due to mining activates on the island. Photo © Harold G. Cogger

Lepidodactylus listeri

Considered abundant towards the end of the 1970s the Christmas Island Chained Gecko (Lepidodactylus listeri) has suffered a dramatic collapse in its population, leading to it being moved from Vulnerable (VU) to Extinct in the Wild (EW) in 2017. The decline of this species was due to predation by introduced Wolf Snake (Lycodon capucinus) which arrived on Christmas Island in the early 1980s. Other exotic predators including Yellow Crazy Ants (Anoplolepis gracilipes), feral cats, rats and an invasive centipede (Scolopendra subspinipes) are thought to also have contributed to the decline of this species. To prevent the extinction of this gecko, the majority of the wild population was taken into captivity in 2009 and a captive breeding programme started with the intent to eventually release back into the wild. Reintroduction in the foreseeable future is however not currently feasible as it’s not presently possible to eradicate Wolf Snakes, or the other exotic predators from Christmas Island. Photo © Harold G. Cogger

Delma impar

Found in the south-east corner of Australia, in small, isolated subpopulations in small patches of remnant habitat, the continuing decline in the area, extent and quality of temperate grassland habitat caused the Striped Legless Lizard (Delma impar) to move from Vulnerable (VU) to Endangered (EN) in 2017. The main threat to this species is land clearance and agricultural intensification. As much of its remaining habitat occurs on the fertile plains of southern Victoria, this threat is likely to continue, and so it is also likely that the status of this lizard will deteriorate further if there is no significant conservation intervention to stop this decline. Photo © Akash Samuel

Southern Even-fingered Gecko_Alsophylax laevis

Serious population declines resulted in the Southern Even-fingered Gecko (Alsophylax laevis) being added to The IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered (CR) in 2017. This species typically occurs in bare, flat clay areas that are almost free from vegetation in the sand desert zone (takyrs) of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. It is experiencing significant habitat loss through ploughing and irrigation of takyr habitat for crop cultivation, and the site where the species was first discovered no longer exists, having been inundated by the creation of a dam. More than half of its historical habitat has been lost over the past 20-30 years Photo © Patrick Randall

Amphibians

Gold-spotted Marsupial Frog_ Gastrotheca aureomaculata

In 2017, the Gold-spotted Marsupial Frog (Gastrotheca aureomaculata) entered the threatened categories on The IUCN Red List, moving from Near Threatened to Endangered (EN). The species is known from only a few localities in south-central Colombia. It has not been recorded since at least the 1960s, but the region has not yet been intensively explored. Habitat destruction through timber extraction and spread of agriculture (including cultivation of illegal crops), and water pollution pose the most serious threats to this arboreal frog. Photo © 2010 Division of Herpetology, University of Kansas

Invertebrates

Amphorella melampoides

Previously listed as Vulnerable (VU), Amphorella melampoides moved from Vulnerable (VU) to Least Concern (LC) in 2017 as a result of better management of the invasive species that were threatening this snail. The positive steps towards the conservation of this species through the EU Life Programme Project need to continue for this endemic Madeira Archipelago species, as it continues to be susceptible to potential future introductions of invasive predators (such as rats and mice). An increased frequency of droughts may also be a future threat to this snail, but the scale of this threat to the species is currently unknown. Photo © Dinarte Teixeira

Boettgeria crispa

Boettgeria crispa is a terrestrial snail endemic to the Island of Madeira. Surveys for this species have reported a general decline in the population since 2006, which caused the species to move from Near Threatened (NT) to Endangered (EN) in 2017. It is thought that the loss of large trees due to storm damage or fire, and increased frequency of windy days combined with decreasing number of rainy days causing microclimate changes for this species are major threats. Habitat management is needed to ensure the regeneration of large trees, as well as management of the woodland to retain large trees and other shaded rocky habitats that could be suitable for this snail. Photo © Dinarte Teixeira

Red-legged Fire-Millipede_Aphistogoniulus corallipes

The Red-legged Fire Millipede (Aphistogoniulus corallipes) is only known from the private reserve of Manantantely, a small fragment of remaining lowland rainforest in southeastern Madagascar. The species entered The IUCN Red List in 2017, assessed as Critically Endangered (CR). Its forest habitat has been heavily exploited in the past and continues to decline due to slash and burn agriculture and timber collection by the local communities. The survival of this millipede entirely depends on the persistence of this forest. Photo © Thomas Wesener

Intermediate Royal Pygmy Grasshopper_Andriana intermedia

Madagascar is home to the Intermediate Royal Pygmy Grasshopper (Andriana intermedia), which entered The IUCN Red List as Vulnerable (VU) in 2017. This long-winged species inhabits moist lowland and moist montane tropical forests and its population is believed to be declining due to ongoing loss of forest habitat, as logging and wood harvesting is ongoing within its range. Photo © Serge Pasquasy

Plants

Aegilops sharonensis

Sharon Goatgrass (Aegilops sharonensis) is a secondary wild relative of Bread Wheat, Durum Wheat and a number of other cultivated wheat species. It has already proved valuable to modern agriculture, having been utilized to confer yellow rust resistance to cultivated crops – and it also has a known potential to confer salt tolerance traits. It is therefore concerning that in 2017 that Sharon Goatgrass has been assessed as Vulnerable (VU). This assessment has been made on the basis of historic declines and a projected future population decline of at least 30% over the next three generations. These declines have been attributed to a widespread loss of suitable habitat due to urbanization and agricultural development.  Photo © Ori Fragman-Sapir

Oryza rufipogon

Red Rice (Oryza rufipogon) is the primary genetic relative and is a probable progenitor of cultivated rice and African rice. This species has, on a number of occasions, been a genetic donor to cultivated rice, where its genes have been incorporated to confer resistance to abiotic stress, diseases, and to boost productivity and fertility. It is a widespread species and easily crosses with cultivated rice (Oryza sativa). Currently, the population is stable at the global level and has no serious threats reported. In 2017, it was added to The IUCN Red List as Least Concern (LC). Photo © Emma Cooper. CC BY-NC

Meconopsis superba

Endemic to western Bhutan and restricted to an area of occupancy of just 20 km², Meconopsis superba entered The IUCN Red List as Endangered (EN) in 2017. This plant is commonly grown for ornamental purposes and is threatened on the basis continuing decline in population size and the quality of its habitat caused by the periodic use of fire to create areas suitable for livestock grazing. Photo © Toshio Yoshida

Pittosporum brevispinum

Pittosporum brevispinium is a small tree, growing at low altitudes in New Caledonia. The species has continued to decline as its dry forest habitat continues to be converted to pasture, and the remaining forest habitat is degraded by Rusa Deer (Rusa timorensis). These threats, combined with field observations indicating that only a single subpopulation of this plant remains, resulted in the species being moved from Endangered (EN) to Critically Endangered (CR) in 2017. Photo © Benoît HENRY

Rhododendron kesangiae

Rhododendron kesangiae is a large shrub species endemic to Bhutan and is often found growing amongst other Rhododendrons and bamboos in Fir and Hemlock forests. This plant is often grown as an ornamental species, and its timber is used for firewood and leaves are widely used locally as a wrapper for butter. Its large extent of occurrence, lack of any significant range-wide threats, and large numbers of localities means that this species enters the Red List for the first time as Least Concern (LC). Photo © Rinchen Yangzom

Bistorta griersonii

Endemic to Bhutan and known only from two records (dating from 1949 and 1993) from high altitude sites, Bistorta griersonii entered The IUCN Red List as Endangered (EN) in 2017. The herb species grows among rocks, on cliff edges and on steep sandy banks, and these habitats are being by trampling and digging by collectors searching for Ophiocodyceps species (a fungus species that is widely used in traditional Chinese and Tibetan medicine).  Photo © Toshio Yoshida

Triticum turgidum

Wild Emmer (Triticum turgidum) is a primary wild relative of all cultivated wheat species. It grows primarily on terra rossa or basalt soil in the herbaceous cover of oak forests, dwarf shrub formations, pastures, abandoned fields and the edges of cultivated fields. This species has confirmed use in conferring drought tolerance to Common Wheat and is a potential gene donor for all cultivated forms of T. turgidum. With no known threats to the global population, this plant was assessed in 2017 as Least Concern (LC). Photo © Barbara Ender Jones

White Ash_Fraxinus americana

Native to central and eastern United States, the widespread White Ash (Fraxinus americana) is the most common of the native U.S. ash tree species. Nevertheless, the species made its debut on The IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered (CR) in 2017. Its timber is tough, strong and highly resistant to shock making it useful for a wide variety of goods, e.g. from baseball bats and tool handles, to guitars and furniture. Along with all other U.S. ash tree species, White Ash is suffering devastating impacts from the invasive Emerald Ash Borer beetle (Agrilus planipennis), which was introduced into the U.S. in the 1990s, probably through infested shipping pallets or crates from Asia. With no currently known solution to halting the rapid spread of this destructive invasive species, White Ash is expected to undergo a decline of at least 80% over the next 100 years. Photo © Kris Bachtell/The Morton Arboretum

Wilmott's Whitebeam_Sorbus wilmottiana

Wilmott's Whitebeam (Sorbus wilmottiana) is endemic to western England, where it is known from both sides of the Avon Gorge in Somerset and Gloucestershire. The species moved from from Critically Endangered (CR) to Endangered (EN) in 2017 after some regeneration in the population over the past twenty years. The population is still very small (97 individuals in 2016, of which 60 were mature trees), and it is currently under threat from a fungus disease and potentially from work on upgrading a nearby railway line, so the species still requires ongoing conservation efforts to secure its future. Photo © Natural England/Peter Wakely

Goldenseal_Hydrastis Canadensis

Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) is a well-known North American medicinal plant from the United States and Canada. The species is used as a supplement to treat a range of upper respiratory tract infections, hay fever, and a variety of digestive disorders. This plant’s range and habitat quality have declined significantly, resulting in a population decline of at least 30% over the past 21-27 years. The combined threats of habitat clearance and harvesting of wild plants for domestic and international medicinal plant markets are driving this continuing decline, causing the species to enter The IUCN Red List as Vulnerable (VU) in 2017. Photo © USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab

Carolina Ash_Fraxinus caroliniana

Carolina Ash (Fraxinus carolinina) entered The IUCN Red List as Endangered (EN) in 2017. This ash tree occurs throughout southeastern USA and on the island of Cuba. It is a fairly widespread species in certain wetland habitats, however, similar to other North American ash species, Carolina Ash has been declining rapidly since the introduction of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer beetle (Agrilus planipennis). This beetle has decimated the populations in North Carolina and is rapidly spreading across the majority of the Carolina Ash tree’s range. It is possible that the southernmost Carolina Ash populations may be too tropical for the beetle to survive, but it is very likely that at least 50% of the range be suitable for Emerald Ash Borer, and those trees will likely be rapidly killed by infestation. Photo © Mary Keim

Allium iatrouinum

The Mediterranean species Allium iatrouinum was added to The IUCN Red List as Critically Endangered (CR) in 2017. Currently this plant is known only from Mount Ochi in the southern part of Evvia Island, Greece, and has an estimated global population of around 200-400 mature plants. Although the known population is within a Natura 2000 site, numerous wind parks have been developed in the area, and wind turbines are under construction within its distribution area, which potentially threatens the only known population. Further research is needed to confirm whether this species occurs in a wider area and the impact of wind park development on the known population. Photo © Panayiotis Trigas

Birds

Apteryx mantelli

The iconic Northern Brown Kiwi (Apteryx mantelli), suffered drastic declines in the past due to habitat loss and predation by introduced mammals. However, intensive conservation efforts have had positive results for this species. In 2017 it moved from Endangered (EN) to Vulnerable (VU) as a direct result of this conservation work. The species has been successfully relocated to three pest-free offshore islands in New Zealand, and has also been translocated to many mainland sites that are either pest-free or have pest species maintained at very low levels to help bolster the population. Although unmanaged populations continue to decline at a rate of 2.5% per annum, this decline is thought to be balanced out by the population growth in the managed sites. Current conservation efforts for this species need to continue and to be expanded to currently unmanaged populations. Photo © Neil Robert Hutton

Oxyura maccoa

Previously assessed in 2016 as Near Threatened (NT), in 2017 the Maccoa Duck (Oxyura maccoa) moved to Vulnerable (VU). The east African population has been undergoing a severe long-term decline, however, up until recently, this decline had been considered to be balanced out at the global level by population increases in southern Africa. Recent evidence from South Africa has suggested that the population is now also in decline there. While the precise drivers of this decline are unknown, they are likely to be pollution and the conversion and drainage of wetlands. Photo © Ian White

Emberiza aureola

The Yellow-breasted Bunting (Emberiza aureola) moved from Endangered (EN) to Critically Endangered (CR) in 2017 because of indications that the overall rate of population decline is even greater than previously thought, and may have become extremely rapid during the previous three generations (11 years). These declines are believed to be driven primarily by trapping in its passage and non-breeding ranges. A programme of coordinated range-wide monitoring and action is urgently required to quantify the magnitude of this decline and to reduce the impact of trapping across its range. Photo © Hiyashi Haka

Apteryx rowi

The Okarito Kiwi (Apteryx rowi) is locally common in the native lowland forests of a small area of coastal forest in New Zealand. The species was hit hard by massive declines in the past, caused by habitat loss and predation by introduction mammals. In 2017, it moved from Endangered (EN) to Vulnerable (VU) as a result of intensive conservation efforts. These included 'Operation Nest Egg', eggs or young chicks were removed from the wild and reared in captivity and on Motuara Island until large enough to cope with the presence of invasive stoats, and introduction of new populations to several predator free islands and mainland sites. Maintaining landscape level pest control, further translocation projects and community involvement are all highlighted as essential to ensuring continued recovery of this species. Photo © www.kiwisforkiwi.org

Procellaria westlandica

Nesting in the densely forested coastal foothills near Punakaiki, South Island, New Zealand, the Westland Petrel (Procellaria westlandica) appears to be wide-ranging due to its migration in the summer months to the central Pacific, eastern New Zealand waters, the east coast of Australia, and South America. However, ongoing degradation of this bird’s breeding sites due to erosion, landslips, and possible storms, seriously threatens this species and resulted in this species being moved from Vulnerable (VU) to Endangered (EN) in 2017. The breeding area for this species is with the Paparoa National Park and has been designated a special area which restricts access by the public. Monitoring is also underway to identify possible predators that may be a threat to this species at its breeding site. Photo © Ed Dunens

Garrulax mitratus

Assessed in 2016 as Least Concern (LC), the Chestnut-capped Laughingthrush (Garrulax mitratus) moved to Near Threatened (NT) in 2017. This bird occurs in southern Thailand, through peninsular Malaysia and on Sumatra (Indonesia). It is suspected that demand for this species from the cagebird trade is driving a rapid decline on Sumatra, and although the population in Thailand and Malaysia is not subject to this particular threat, a moderately rapid decline is suspected for the global population overall. This is the commonest Indonesian laughingthrush to be traded in Pramuka bird market in Jakarta, and current data potentially indicate that harvesting of this species from the wild is unsustainable and the population may soon crash if action is not taken to prevent this from happening. Photo © Ana Silva

Rissa tridactyla

A decline of at least 30% over the past three generations (39 years) resulted in the Black-legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) moving from Least Concern (LC) to Vulnerable (VU) in 2017. This decline is believed to have been driven by the depletion of food resources through overfishing, marine oil spills, chronic oil spills, and accidental capture by longline fisheries and hunting. This species is also susceptible to avian influenza, is potentially threatened by climate change due to its geographically bounded distribution, and is considered at high risk of collision with offshore wind farms. Possible conservation actions for this species include the creation of a network of hunting-free reserves in coastal areas, and the sustainable management of fisheries to prevent over-fishing. Photo © Martin Pelanek

Plains-wanderer

Due to recorded declines of more than 90%, over the past three generations, in the last two strongholds in New South Wales and Victoria, the Plains-wanderer (Pedionomus torquatus) was moved from Endangered (EN) to Critically Endangered (CR) in 2017. This decline is attributed to the cultivation of native grasslands. Loss of grassland habitat through insufficient grazing, inappropriate fire regimes, mortality due to pesticides, and droughts attributed to long-term climate change are also thought to have contributed to the rapid decline of this bird. Current conservation efforts are focusing on understanding its habitat requirements and incorporating this habitat in the protected-areas estate in the areas where it occurs. Photo © Lachlan Hall