IUCN to kick-off Green List for 'fully conserved' species

Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
September 27, 2012



Aerial view of African buffalo herd in the Okavango Delta. With a population numbering several hundred thousand will the African buffalo find itself on the Green List? Or will hunting, especially of the forest buffalo subspecies, keep it off? These are the questions scientists with the Green List will have to answer. Photo by: Jeremy Hance.
Aerial view of African buffalo herd in the Okavango Delta. With a population numbering several hundred thousand will the African buffalo find itself on the Green List? Or will hunting, especially bushmeat hunting of the forest buffalo subspecies, keep it off? These are the questions scientists with the Green List will have to answer. Photo by: Jeremy Hance.

Following news on endangered species can sometimes be a depressing, albeit important, affair. In an age of vast deforestation, pollution, overexploitation, rising human populations, and climate change, every day seems to bring more stories about species, or biodiversity in total, on the brink. However, the news is not grim for all species, conservation efforts has achieved success in stabilizing, growing, and in some cases, even protecting in the long-term, for a number of the world's wildlife. Now, a new list by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) will highlight these positive poster-childs of conservation.

"The Green List process is about optimism and success. It will incentivize conservation action and encourage investment in programs and policies that enhance and measure conservation success," says Dr. Simon Stuart, Chair of IUCN’s Species Survival Commission in a press statement. According to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), which sponsored the idea, the Green List will include species that are "identified as 'fully conserved,' which are those that exist in ecologically significant numbers, interacting fully with other species in their ecosystems."

The idea for the Green List—which compliments the IUCN Red List that tracks endangered species—was approved at the World Conservation Congress in Jeju, South Korea, this month. While the IUCN Red List warns about imperiled species across the globe, the Green List will highlight not just survival of a species, but abundance. As it will likely be several years before the list appears—scientists need to craft criteria that the species must meet to be considered in the 'green'—we don't know yet what species will be on it.

"Successful species conservation involves the conservation of a species with significant populations, interacting fully with a complete suite of other native species and processes," explains WCS President Cristián Samper. "The conservation community should be giving to the world a positive and proactive vision of success: species at or near their natural carrying capacity, as integral parts of fully functional ecosystems. The Green List will be a step in that direction."

At the same meeting, motions were also approved to set up a Red List of Ecosystems and Green List of Protected Areas. The Green List will highlight some of the world's most successful protected areas, while the Red List will shine on light on ecosystems most in need of conservation and better management efforts.













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CITATION:
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (September 27, 2012).

IUCN to kick-off Green List for 'fully conserved' species.

http://news.mongabay.com/2012/0927-hance-iucn-green-list.html