2010 Photo Gallery

The photographs presented here represent a selection of species from The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2010) and were contributed from a range of sources including IUCN SSC Specialist Group members. If you wish to use any of these photographs, please contact the photographers directly to request their permission to do so. For a wider selection of threatened species imagery, please see ARKive (www.arkive.org), an online multi-media of the world's species.



Rothschild’s Giraffe_Giraffa camelopardalis ssp. rothschildi

The only remaining naturally occurring population of Rothschild’s Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis ssp. rothschildi) is in Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda; this subspecies may still be present in Sudan. It has been reintroduced in Kenya; however, the individuals there are thought to be declining due to poaching. Currently, fewer than 470 individuals of this Endangered subspecies are estimated to be left in Uganda and Kenya. Rothschild's Giraffe is one of the most imperilled Giraffe subspecies, with habitat degradation and poaching being the main threats. Determining exact population numbers and conservation status of the Murchison Falls National Park Rothschild's Giraffe population is a priority for long-term conservation of this subspecies. Globally, the species is currently assessed as Least Concern. Photo © Zoe Muller GCF

Dingiso_Dendrolagus mbaiso

The Dingiso (Dendrolagus mbaiso) is restricted to sub-alpine habitats in the Tembagapura and Kwiyawagi mountains on the island of New Guinea. The population is thought to have declined by more than 50% over the last 30 years. Human activities, such as hunting and agriculture, and climate change are the main threats affecting this Endangered species. The western-most parts of the population are currently secure because of traditional beliefs, but if those change, the species could very quickly slip towards extinction. Research on its distribution, abundance, life history and threats is needed. Photo © Gerald Cubitt

Tucuxi_Sotalia fluviatilis

The Tucuxi (Sotalia fluviatilis) is considered to be the world’s only exclusive freshwater delphinid. It occurs in the Amazon drainage as far inland as southern Peru, eastern Ecuador and southeastern Colombia, inhabiting white, clear and black water. There is no information on the population structure of the Tucuxi. It is sometimes used as bait in fisheries, and the eyes and genital organs are used as aphrodisiacs. Pollution, incidental mortality in fisheries, habitat deterioration and fragmentation due to dam construction are the main threats to this Data Deficient species. The Tucuxi is listed on Appendix I of CITES and Appendix II of CMS. Further research on the population structure is needed. Photo © Andrea Florence/www.ardea.com

Long-fingered Bat_Myotis capaccinii

The Long-fingered Bat (Myotis capaccinii) occurs in the northern Mediterranean, ranging from Spain east to Asia Minor, Israel and Lebanon. It is also known from Iran and northwestern Africa. While it can be locally common, declines in the population size have been recorded from many areas within its range. It is thought to be extinct in Switzerland, and in Spain the population has declined by 30-50% in 10 years. Changes in water quality due to pollution and dam construction, and loss of water bodies and watercourses are thought to be the main threats to this Vulnerable species. The Long-fingered Bat is also collected for medicinal purposes in northern Africa. Protection of known colonies and improvement of water quality are needed to ensure the survival of this species. Photo © Vilda - Rollin Verlinde

Nelson's Small Eared Shrew_Cryptotis nelsoni

Until recently, Nelson's Small Eared Shrew (Cryptotis nelsoni) was thought to be extinct. However, it was rediscovered at a number of locations in close proximity to the Volcán San Martín Tuxtla in Veracruz, Mexico. The main threat to the Nelson's Small Eared Shrew is habitat loss due to logging, cattle grazing, induced fires and crops. Deforestation rates are as high as 90% in the area of its type locality, with an annual deforestation rate of 6.2%. A conservation action plan is needed to protect the habitat of this Critically Endangered species. Photo © Lázaro Guevara López, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Universidad Veracruzana

Giant Armadillo_Priodontes maximus

Endemic to South America, the Giant Armadillo (Priodontes maximus) is the largest of all armadillo species. It is naturally rare and has a patchy distribution. The global population is thought to be declining due to hunting for meat and deforestation. This Vulnerable species is also illegally captured to be sold to animal collectors. The Giant Armadillo is listed on Appendix I of CITES and occurs in a number of protected areas. There is however a need to reduce hunting pressure and to preserve the natural habitat of this species. Photo © Carly Vynne


Alaotra Grebe_Tachybaptus rufolavatus

The Alaotra Grebe (Tachybaptus rufolavatus) was endemic to Madagascar, known chiefly from Lake Alaotra. The last confirmed sighting of this species was in 1982 and it is now considered to be Extinct. The factors that contributed to this species’ extinction are the use of gill-nets covering a large part of Lake Alaotra, the introduction of exotic plants, mammals and fish, habitat degradation and poaching. Furthermore, hybridisation with T. ruficollis might have been a major contributing factor in this species’ decline. Photo © Chris Rose (www.chrisrose-artist.co.uk). Photo supplied by Birdlife International.

Azores Bullfinch_Pyrrhula murina

The Azores Bullfinch (Pyrrhula murina) is endemic to the Azores, Portugal. It was downlisted from Critically Endangered to Endangered following a survey in 2008, which revealed that the species was not confined to 6 km² of native forest as was previously thought, but actually occurrs in 102 km² of native forest on the island of São Miguel. The Azores Bullfinch used to be common in the 19th century when it was even considered to be a pest to fruit orchards. However, forest clearance and hunting as well as the spread of invasive plant species have lead to a decline in this species. Photo © Leo Boon (www.theworldsrarest.com)

Chatham Albatross_Thalassarche eremita

The Chatham Albatross (Thalassarche eremita) disperses within the southern Pacific west to Tasmania and east to Chile and Peru. However, it breeds only on The Pyramid, a large rock stack in the Chatham Islands, New Zealand. It was downlisted from Critically Endangered to Vulnerable as there is no evidence of a continuing decline in the quality of the habitat at this breeding site. Furthermore, the population is thought to be stable or increasing, consisting of approximately 5,300 pairs. Human impacts, such as longline fisheries, and stochastic events are the main threats to the Chatham Albatross. The harvesting of chicks, although occurring at low numbers, might also have some effect on the population. Photo © Brent Stephenson (www.theworldsrarest.com)

Southern Ground-hornbill_Bucorvus leadbeateri

Endemic to southern Africa, the Southern Ground-hornbill (Bucorvus leadbeateri) is thought to be widespread and common. However, habitat destruction and persecution have caused a rapid decline in the population size in South Africa and potentially also in other parts of its range. These threats are thought to continue into the future and the species was therefore uplisted from Least Concern to Vulnerable. Photo © Pete Morris (www.birdquest.co.uk)

Yellow-eared Parrot

The Yellow-eared Parrot (Ognorhynchus icterotis) was downlisted from Critically Endangered to Endangered as conservation actions have stabilised its range and lead to an increase in population size. It used to be common in Colombia and Ecuador, but it is now potentially extinct in Ecuador. In 1991, it was estimated that only 81 birds were left in Colombia, but thanks to intensive conservation actions the population has recovered dramatically. The Yellow-eared Parrot is listed on Appendices I and II of CITES. Photo © Alonso Quevedo (www.theworldsrarest.com)


Lyre Head Lizard_Lyriocephalus scutatus

The Lyre Head Lizard (Lyriocephalus scutatus) is endemic to Sri Lanka, where it is threatened by deforestation and collection for the pet industry. In 2005, it was estimated that only 5% of the original wet zone rainforest, where this species is found, remained on Sri Lanka and the expansion of human settlements is further increasing the pressure on this species’ habitat. The Lyre Head Lizard is listed as Near Threatened, but monitoring of the population and distribution are needed to ensure that no significant declines do occur. Photo © Ruchira Somaweera

Lesser Antillean Iguana_Iguana delicatissima

The Lesser Antillean Iguana (Iguana delicatissima) is believed to have existed throughout the northern Lesser Antilles, however it has been extirpated from a number of islands such as Saint-Martin, St Kitts, Nevis, Antigua, and Barbuda. While hunting is now illegal throughout all of its range, iguana meat is still sold locally causing a decline in the population. Displacement through competition and hybridization with the Green Iguana is one of the main factors causing the disappearance of this Endangered species throughout the Guadeloup Archipelago. This iguana is listed on Appendix II of CITES and an action plan to protect this species was approved in June 2010. Photo © Charles Knapp/San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research & John G. Shedd Aquarium

Eared Worm-lizard_Aprasia aurita

Endemic to northwestern Victoria, Australia, the last remaining population of the Eared Worm-lizard (Aprasia aurita) is thought to occur in the Wathe State Reserve. Large areas of this species’ habitat have been cleared for agricultural purposes and development. Furthermore, the Eared Worm-lizard is very susceptible to burning of its habitat, and both wild and managed fires have destroyed areas where this species used to be found. Monitoring and continued conservation efforts are required for this Critically Endangered species. Photo © Mark Hutchinson

Otago Skink_Oligosoma otagense

The Otago Skink (Oligosoma otagense) is endemic to the Macraes Flat and the Lindis Pass region in central Otago, New Zealand. It used to be found throughout central Otago, however its current range consists of only 10% of the former extent. This Endangered species is rare and there are only around 2,000 individuals in total, which are mainly found in the Macraes Flat region. Introduced mammals, such as cats and ferrets, are causing both a decline in the quality of its habitat and mortality by predation. Furthermore, past recovery plans, such as predator proof fences, have failed to exclude these introduced predators from its habitat. Photo © James T. Reardon

Yellow-lipped Sea Krait_Laticauda colubrina

The Yellow-lipped Sea Krait (Laticauda colubrina) is one of the most widespread species of its genus, found from eastern India east to Fiji, Vanuatu and Niue and from the Ryuku Islands (Japan) south to Australia and New Zealand. It feeds on eels in shallow waters and returns to land to rest, slough the skin and digest the prey. It inhabits a wide range of habitats, including coral reefs and mangroves. Future sea level rise and anthropogenic disturbances may be threats to this Least Concern species. Photo © Patrice Marker

Yellow-bellied Sea Snake_Pelamis platura

The Yellow-bellied Sea Snake (Pelamis platura) is the most widely distributed sea snake species. It is found in the tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans. It occurs in the open ocean far away from the coasts and reefs at depths of 0-10 m. The Yellow-bellied Sea Snake feeds exclusively on fish, which seek shelter beneath the motionless snake and are subsequently caught. Pollution and bycatch are some minor potential threats to this Least Concern species. Photo © Robert F. Myers

Yunnan Box Turtle_Cuora yunnanensis

Endemic to Yunnan, China, the Yunnan Box Turtle (Cuora yunnanensis) was until recently believed to be Extinct, as it had not been seen since 1946. In 2004 it was rediscovered, and is now assessed as Critically Endangered. Collection information suggests that this species was not particularly rare around 1900, but only three individuals have been confirmed, all of them since 2004, despite at least 15 years of searches. Today any remaining populations are presumed to be exceedingly small and localized. Its precise distribution remains unclear. Remaining animals are under exceptional threat from collection, as they command a potentially very high price in the illegal pet trade, as well as in the consumption trade. Its presumed historical distribution is now extensively developed for settlement, tourism and agriculture. It is protected under Chinese legislation and is included in CITES Appendix II. It has successfully reproduced in captivity; a captive assurance colony could potentially reinforce natural populations should any be found in the wild. Photo © Ting Zhou, William P. McCord, Torsten Blanck


Spotted Snout-burrower_Hemisus guttatus

The Spotted Snout-burrower (Hemisus guttatus) is currently only known form South Africa, where it inhabits grassland and savannah. The breeding congregations are relatively small and widely dispersed and more than 50% of the subpopulations are thought to be non-viable. The main threats to this Vulnerable species are habitat loss due to afforestation, sugar cane cultivation, urbanisation and invasive alien plants. Further research on the dispersal ability of this species is needed. Photo © Marius Burger

Pickersgill's Reed Frog_Hyperolius pickersgilli

The Pickersgill's Reed Frog (Hyperolius pickersgilli) is endemic to the coast of KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa, where it is found in an area of only 9 km². It inhabits coastal mosaic bushland and grassland and breeds in stagnant waters. Urbanisation, drainage for agriculture and urban development, afforestation, and DDT pollution (used for controlling malarial mosquitoes) are the main threats to the habitat and breeding sites of the Pickersgill's Reed Frog. It has been uplisted from Endangered to Critically Endangered due to its very restricted distribution combined with continuing habitat degradation. Further research on the effects of the threats is urgently needed. Photo © James Harvey

Amatola Toad_Vandijkophrynus amatolicus

A South African endemic, the Amatola Toad (Vandijkophrynus amatolicus) is only known from the Winterberg and Amatola Mountains in the Eastern Cape Province. This species was recently uplisted from Endangered to Critically Endangered as it was not recorded during numerous surveys between 1998 and 2009. The Amatola Toad might indeed be extinct. Over the past 20 years approximately 20% of its habitat has been lost to plantations and fires and overgrazing might have caused this species to disappear from the remaining sites. Relocation of the Amatola Toad and studies on its phenology are needed. Photo © Vincent Carruthers

Lightfoot’s Moss Frog_Arthroleptella lightfooti

The Lightfoot’s Moss Frog (Arthroleptella lightfooti) is found on the Table Mountain and the other mountains on the Cape Penisula, South Africa. It does not survive in developed areas, and urban development and pine plantation have lead to some habitat loss in the past. At present, the spread of alien species (especially pines), fires and tourism are thought to be the main threats to this Near Threatened species. There are currently no conservation actions in place for the Lightfoot’s Moss Frog, however monitoring programs, especially to determine population trends, are required. Photo © John Measey


Clarion Angelfish_Holacanthus clarionensis

The Clarion Angelfish (Holacanthus clarionensis) is primarily found around the Revillagigedo Islands (Mexico), where it inhabits clear water rocky reefs. This Vulnerable species used to be collected for the aquarium trade, however Revillagigedo Islands is now included in a marine protected area. It is prohibited to collect fishes in this marine protected area and the Clarion Angelfish is now only rarely seen in the aquarium trade. Oceanographic environmental changes associated with ENSO events could have detrimental effects on the survival of this species. Monitoring of the population trends is needed, especially taking into account its restricted range and shallow water habitat. Photo © D Ross Robertson, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Bravo Clinid_Labrisomus dendriticus

The Bravo Clinid (Labrisomus dendriticus) occurs only in the Galápagos and Malpelo Islands in the Eastern Pacific. It is generally thought to be common and it is the most abundant species of the genus Labrisomus in the Galápagos Islands. This reef-associated species inhabits a variety of habitats, including boulder-strewn slopes and rocky reefs to depths of 25 m. Severe localized fish species declines have occurred after strong El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events, which resulted in warm and nutrient-poor shallow waters. The frequency and duration of such events seem to be increasing in the region where this Vulnerable species is found. There are currently no conservation measures in place, but its distribution falls within some national parks. Photo © D Ross Robertson, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Chevron Butterflyfish_Chaetodon trifascialis

The Chevron Butterflyfish (Chaetodon trifascialis) is widespread through the Indo-west and central Pacific Oceans. It is an obligate corallivore and feeds on a number of coral species (such as Acropora hyacinthus), which are vulnerable to bleaching events. This Near Threatened species is very susceptible to changes in the abundance of its preferred coral prey and it went locally extinct before and after severe a bleaching event in the central Great Barrier Reef. It is also occasionally exported for the aquarium trade. Monitoring of this species and its coral prey is needed. Photo © Robert F. Myers

Socorro Serrano_Serranus socorroensis

The Socorro Serrano (Serranus socorroensis) is endemic to four small Revillagigedo islands (Mexico) in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. It inhabits sand-rubble areas around the fringes of rocky reefs. In the Eastern Tropical Pacific, fish species declines have occurred after strong El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events resulting in warm and nutrient poor shallow waters. The frequency and duration of such ENSO events seem to have increased, which might have detrimental effects on the survival of this Vulnerable species. There are currently no conservation measures in place to protect the Socorro Serrano, but it is found within the Revillagigedo Marine Protected Area. Photo © D Ross Robertson, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Tilapia busumana

Known from Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, populations of Tilapia busumana are currently declining as deforestation and poor agricultural practices cause increases in sediment loads and leaching of pesticides and agrochemicals into the waterways.  Aquatic weeds and effluents from mining activities further threaten this Vulnerable species, as does pollution from inadequately treated human waste and domestic discharges from expanding residential developments. A conservation policy has been put in place in Ghana; habitat restoration and monitoring of population trends and threats would further benefit this species. Photo © Oliver Lucanus/Belowwater.com

Sahara Aphanius_Aphanius saourensis

Endemic to the Oued Saoura basin in Algeria, Sahara Aphanius (Aphanius saourensis) is only known from one remnant population, having disappeared from numerous other localities. The North American Gambusia holbrooki was introduced as a method of mosquito control and now outnumbers the Sahara Aphanius by more than 100 to one, posing a serious threat. Excessive groundwater withdrawal for agricultural purposes, the drying of wetlands, and water pollution are also major threats to this Critically Endangered species. Its survival is unlikely in the wild, though it does well in aquariums and a small captive breeding program is underway. It would benefit from habitat restoration, and the development of a Protected Area within its range before re-introduction programmes could get underway. Photo © Heiko Kaerst

Oreochromis karongae

Oreochromis karongae is one of three “Chambo” species endemic to Lake Malawi, Lake Malombe and the Shire River in Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. These species are the most valuable food fishes in Malawi, but overfishing has had serious impacts; population declines of more than 70% in the past ten years have led to a listing as Endangered on the IUCN Red List. The Chambo stocks in Lake Malombe are considered to have been in a state of near collapse since the early 1990s. Monitoring of population trends, harvest management and education are needed to maintain viable populations. Photo © Prof. George F. Turner

Stellate Sturgeon_Acipenser stellatus

Stellate Sturgeon (Acipenser stellatus) is found in the Caspian, Black and Azov Seas; it has been extirpated from the Aegean Sea. It inhabits sea, coastal and estuarine zones, and spawns in large and deep strong-current rivers and flooded river banks. Population declines of at least 80% in the past 30-40 years caused by overfishing (including poaching) throughout its range are evidenced by massive declines in global and local catches, with a 98% decline between 1980 and 2007 in the Caspian Sea, and a 72.5% decline in four years (2002-2005) in the Danube River. Illegal harvesting of large and mature fish nullifies the natural reproduction of the sturgeon, which hatcheries rely on to maintain brood stock. Dams have also led to the loss of spawning grounds, which leads to further reductions in recruitment, and pollution is yet another threat. Overfishing will soon cause extinction of the natural populations. In the immediate future, survival of this Critically Endangered fish can only depend on stocking, effective fisheries management and combating illegal fishing. Photo © Juan Manuel Borrero (www.borrero.eu)

Atlantic Sturgeon_Acipenser sturio

Once a very wide-ranging species, the Atlantic Sturgeon (Acipenser sturio) was formerly known from the North Sea, north-eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts of Europe and the Black Sea. The population has declined by more than 90% over the past three generations and has become extinct in most of its former range. Today the last remaining population, in the Garonne River, France, is still declining. The species last spawned in 1994 in the Garonne; since then, dams, pollution and river regulation have degraded and destroyed spawning sites. There are currently between 20-750 native wild adult fish. There has been substantial stocking in the past few years, though these individuals will not reproduce until around 2016. This Critically Endangered sturgeon continues to be fished as bycatch, and gravel extraction in the Garonne is a potential threat. Ongoing conservation programmes are in place, and the species is listed on CITES Appendix I. Photo © Jean-François Hellio and Nicolas Van Ingen (www.hellio-vaningen.fr)

Sterlet_Acipenser ruthenus

The Sterlet (Acipenser ruthenus) is known from rivers draining to the Black, Azov and Caspian Seas; its current strongholds are the Volga, Ural and Danube river systems. It is found in large rivers, usually in the current and in deep water. This Vulnerable species has undergone a large population decline, and though local populations are still surviving in most parts of its range, many of these have declined dramatically in recent years and require immediate conservation action. Overfishing, mostly for their meat, is the largest threat the Sterlet faces. Dam construction has led to the loss of spawning grounds across its range, and pollution has threatened the species in the Volga river system and Siberian rivers. The Sterlet is listed on CITES Appendix II; fishing is regulated or banned in most range states and stocking programmes exist in the Danube and Drava rivers. However, better fishing monitoring and enforcement to ban illegal catches are urgently needed to prevent further declines of this species. Photo © Konstantin Mikhailov (www.konstantinmikhailov.com)

Chinese Sturgeon_Acipenser sinensis

The most southerly distributed of the Acipenseriformes, the Chinese Sturgeon (Acipenser sinensis) was historically recorded in south-western Korea, western Japan, and in the Yellow, Yangtze, Pear, Mingjiang, and Qingtang rivers in China, but has been extirpated from all of these areas except for the mid-lower section of the Yangtze River. In the 1960s, this stock supported a major commercial fishery, but overfishing has caused the total spawning population to decline from an estimated 10,000 individuals in the 1970s to 203-257 individuals by 2007 – a 97.5% decline in just 37 years. Due to its life history characteristics, once depleted, stocks of this species take a long time to recover. Dam construction has also led to declines, as migration routes to spawning grounds become blocked and hydrological regimes and water temperatures are changed. Water pollution is another potential threat. Currently, harvest is strictly limited in the Yangtze River and stocking programmes are underway; commercial fishing has been closed since 1983. The species is protected by the Chinese government and nature reserves have been established to safeguard its spawning grounds. Time will tell if these efforts are enough to protect this Critically Endangered species. Photo © Heather Angel (www.naturalvisions.co.uk)

Siberian Sturgeon_Acipenser baerii

The freshwater Siberian Sturgeon (Acipenser baerii) is known from all Siberian rivers draining to the Kara, Laptev and East Siberian seas; natural populations in the Irtysh River, China, were extirpated in the 1950s, though stocked individuals remain. This Endangered sturgeon has undergone a sharp decline in both stock and recruitment: from the 1930s to the 1990s, annual catches declined by 99.5% in the Ob River (which contains 80% of the global population), 97.5% in the Yenisei, and 94.5% in the Lena, leading to a total global decline of 50-80% over the past 60 years. Overfishing, damming of rivers and poaching all contribute to this decline, which is expected to continue into the future. Water pollution from mining has caused sterility, and natural reproduction in the Ob River has significantly decreased due to damming. Restoration of populations is extremely slow. Although this species is listed on CITES Appendix II, further actions are urgently required to ensure wild populations of this species are sustained. Photo © Juan Manuel Borrero (www.borrero.eu)

Ship Sturgeon_Acipenser nudiventris

Originally found in the Black, Azov, Aral and Caspian Seas and several rivers, the Ship Sturgeon (Acipenser nudiventris) has been extirpated from the Aral Sea, nearly extirpated from the Black Sea basin, and there are now only occasional records from the lower Volga River. The only remaining populations occur in the Ural, Sefid Rud, Rioni, and Danube rivers, though there is no natural reproduction in the Sefid Rud and it is possibly extinct in the Danube. Little catch data exists, but overfishing (both legal and illegal) and bycatch, along with dams, water extraction and drought which lead to the loss of spawning grounds, have caused tremendous population declines. This sturgeon is believed to be on the verge of global extinction, and is assessed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. Photo © International Sturgeon Research Institute


Noble Crayfish_Astacus astacus

The Noble Crayfish (Astacus astacus) is widespread throughout most of continental Europe and has been introduced to a number of countries. It is found in rivers, lakes, ponds and reservoirs, where shelter availability is fairly high. The natural population has been declining across most of its range due to a crayfish plague carried by the introduced Signal Crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus). The Signal Crayfish is also known to competitively exclude the Noble Crayfish, as it grows faster, is more aggressive, and dominates the use of many important factors such as food and shelter. The Vulnerable Noble Crayfish used to be the main target of crayfish trapping across much of its range; despite restocking of lakes with individuals from aquaculture fisheries, harvest levels remain only 10% of pre-plague levels. Photo © Henrik Baktoft & Finn Sivebæk

Stone Crayfish_Austropotamobius torrentium

Endemic to Europe, the Stone Crayfish (Austropotamobius torrentium) is known from France and western Germany in the west to Turkey in the east. It is generally found in headwater streams, but can also inhabit lowland rivers. Introduced species such as the Signal Crayfish and the Spinycheek Crayfish, crayfish plague as well as habitat loss and degradation are thought to be the main threats to the Stone Crayfish. The population of this Data Deficient species is undergoing dramatic declines but the rates of decline are unknown. More research on the population trends across its range is needed. Photo © Lucian Parvulescu

Spinycheek Crayfish_Orconectes limosus

The Spinycheek Crayfish (Orconectes limosus) is found across North America and was introduced to Europe in the 1890s where it is now widespread. It inhabits clear streams and lakes. There are no known major threats to this species, though urbanization, alteration to the hydrological regimes and water pollution may cause localized declines. At one locality in Massachusetts, hybridization of this species with Orconectes rusticus is known to have occurred. This Least Concern species is a known carrier of the crayfish plague and it is therefore a threat to many native crayfish species in its introduced range. Further research on population trends and the life history of the Spinycheek Crayfish are needed. Photo © Michel Roggo / roggo.ch

Common Creek Crab_Liberonautes latidactylus

The Common Creek Crab (Liberonautes latidactylus) is the most common freshwater crab in small streams of the rainforest and savannah zones of western Africa. It is listed as Least Concern in view of its stable population and wide distribution. This species has high economic value as a food source. It is also medically important due to its role in the transmission of disease as the predominant second intermediate host of the parasitic human lung fluke and host of the larvae of biting blackflies, which transmit river blindness. Photo © Piotr Naskrecki

Blue River Crab_Potamonautes lividus

The Blue River Crab (Potamonautes lividus) is endemic to swamp forests in northeastern Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. Long-term expansion of housing and urban areas and abstraction of ground water is causing habitat loss and degradation throughout its range, which has resulted in the species being listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. The Blue River Crab is found in three protected areas. Research into its population size and trends, life history, threats and potential conservation actions is required in order to identify specific conservation measures to protect this species. Photo © Winks Emmerson

Lanistes ovum

Lanistes ovum is a widespread and common species known throughout much of tropical Africa. It inhabits various water bodies, standing and flowing, permanent and temporal. It is currently not threatened, but it is sometimes used for animal feed. No conservation measures are in place, nor are any currently needed, for this Least Concern species. Photo © William Darwall

Tomichia cawstoni

Tomichia cawstoni is only known from one stream in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa, where it was collected in 1999. It was originally collected near Kokstad, also in the Eastern Cape Province, but it was last found in this area before 1939. It was thereafter thought to be Extinct until it was rediscovered in 1999. Species of the genus Tomichia are very sensitive to changes in their ecosystems and the main threats to this species are oil pollution and trampling by cattle. It is currently listed as Critically Endangered, though it might have a wider distribution than is currently known. Photo © Dr Dai G. Herbert

Margaritifera marocana

Margaritifera marocana is a large, long lived bivalve endemic to the permanent rivers of Atlantic northwest Morocco. A massive reduction in the number of individuals in the last 100 years is possibly due to collection for pearls; fewer than 250 individuals likely remain. This Critically Endangered species is threatened by pollution, habitat loss due to impoundment, canalisation or dredging, and the decline of a host fish needed to complete its life cycle. Research and conservation actions focusing on the species and its habitat are needed, as well as legal protection at a national level. Photo © Mohamed Ghamizi

Katambora Orange_Ceriagrion katamborae

Endemic to Botswana, Namibia and Zambia, the Katambora Orange (Ceriagrion katamborae) is found primarily in the Okavango Delta and Panhandle. It may be more widespread in southern Africa, but there are no data available to confirm this at present. In fact, a general lack of information for this species has led the Katambora Orange to be listed as Data Deficient on the IUCN Red List. Potential threats include wetland degradation and the spraying of insecticide to control tsetse fly in the Okavango Delta. Photo © Jens Kipping

Wilsons Groundling_Brachythemis wilsoni

Wilson's Groundling (Brachythemis wilsoni) is an example of one of the many Least Concern species on the IUCN Red List. A widespread species, it found throughout the African savannah belt from Sudan in the north to Cote d'Ivoire in the west to Kenya and Tanzania in the east. Isolated records from as far south as Botswana have been confirmed. Despite this ample range, it is considered much scarcer than other Brachythemis species. Wilson's Groundling inhabits swampy streams and rivers, which are under threat in many areas from agriculture and water pollution. Fortunately, these threats are not widespread and this species is known from several wildlife management areas. Additional research into its population trends and potential threats would be beneficial to maintaining this species’ status. Photo © Jens Kipping

Greek Red Damsel_Pyrrhosoma elisabethae

Endemic to the southern Balkans and found only in Albania and Greece, the Greek Red Damsel (Pyrrhosoma elisabethae) is found in very low densities, with some populations having less than one hundred individuals per year. It is found in well-vegetated streams, and cannot survive in habitats that fall dry during hot summers. These habitats are heavily impacted by climate changes, tourism developments and human settlements, including water pollution and vegetation clearing. Several of its previously known populations have become extinct and population declines are expected to continue. This Critically Endangered damselfly is considered to be one of the most threatened damselfly species in Europe, requiring immediate conservation actions. Photo © Jean-Pierre Boudot

Sombre Goldenring_Cordulegaster bidentata

The Sombre Goldenring (Cordulegaster bidentata) is endemic to western, southern, south-eastern and central Europe. Adults are often hidden and are quite difficult to find and larval sites are sometimes hard to access or recognize, making this a poorly known species. It is highly specialized, reproducing mainly in headwater streams, especially tufa springs and limestone brooks, and is sensitive to changes in habitat. Water extraction for human use and irrigation, combined with climate changes leading to increased drought, have caused general population declines and even local extinctions in parts of it range. Some populations are additionally threatened by water acidification due to acid rains and forest closure due to conifer plantations. The preservation of good-quality water resources and broadleaved forests are necessary conservation measures. This species is assessed as Near Threatened. Photo © Jean-Pierre Boudot

Cretan Bluet_Coenagrion intermedium

The Cretan Bluet (Coenagrion intermedium) is endemic to vegetated brooks and streams on the Grecian island of Crete. It prefers shady brooks with a slow current, and is relatively widespread and common on the island. However, human exploitation of water resources, water pollution and forest destruction are currently threatening this bluet; current agricultural policy leads to population declines by favouring olive tree cultivation, the change of stream water regimes and destruction of vegetation along stream banks. Climate change is expected to intensify water deficits and cause a loss of breeding site in the future. As a result, the species is presently assessed as Vulnerable. Preservation of gallery forests and water use control are among the conservation measures needed to protect this species. Photo © Jean-Pierre Boudot

White Featherleg_Platycnemis latipes

The White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes) is known from the western Mediterranean countries of Portugal, France and Spain. It is generally common throughout its limited range, frequently occurring in large populations. It inhabits low to moderately fast running waters in lowlands and hilly areas, and is rarely found in standing waters. This species is fortunate not to face any current threats, and is therefore assessed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. Photo © Jean-Pierre Boudot

Chalkhill Blue_Polyommatus coridon

Although widely distributed throughout Europe, the Chalkhill Blue butterfly (Polyommatus coridon) is local and restricted to areas with sufficient habitat of good quality. It is found in dry, flower-rich habitats with short vegetation. Populations can be very large, with hundreds of individuals coming together to roost in the late afternoons. Horseshoe Vetch (Hippocrepis comosa) is its only foodplant; females lay their eggs on the leaves, and the caterpillars are attended by ants. Strong declines have been reported in parts of this butterfly’s range, but it is not assumed to have declined by more than 25% in the past ten years and population size is likely larger than 10,000 adults. It is therefore listed as Least Concern. Photo © Kars Veling, De Vlinderstichting/Dutch Butterfly Conservation

Pseudochazara euxina

A local species, Pseudochazara euxina is endemic to the Crimean mountain steppes and pine forest on a limestone mountain area in Ukraine. It inhabits alpine and subalpine grasslands, inland cliffs and exposed rocks, feeding on the plant Stipa pennata. The population has declined by 15-25% in the past 25 years; tourist activities and fires are current threats. This species is currently listed as Endangered. Photo © Vladimir Savchuk

Macedonian Grayling_Pseudochazara cingovskii

The Macedonian Grayling (Pseudochazara cingovskii)is known only from a tiny area in the Pletvar Massif in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, where it inhabits dry limestone rocks with sporadic grassy vegetation in grasslands and steppes. Quarrying activities are reducing this butterfly’s habitat, and have led to population declines of up to 30%; the population may fall below 10,000 individuals in bad years. Urgent action is required to protect it’s remaining habitat from active quarrying. Without any intervention it is highly threatened with extinction, and is therefore assessed as Critically Endangered. Photo © Tom Nygaard Kristensen

Sudeten Ringlet_Erebia sudetica

The Sudeten Ringlet (Erebia sudetica) is a European species that occurs very locally in widely separated areas in France, Switzerland, Czech Republic and Romania; it may be extinct in Poland. Though some populations appear to be stable, the species has declined by more than 30% throughout its range and is therefore assessed as Vulnerable. This butterfly prefers damp alpine and sub-alpine grasslands, especially those near tree-line, though it also inhabits forests and rocky areas. Intensified grazing and agriculture, along with abandonment of previously used lands that are now being converted to shrub land and forest, are destroying the varied mosaic of habitats and leading to habitat loss; climate change is a potential future threat. It is listed on Annex IV of the EU Habitats Directive and Bern Convention Annex II, and is found in several protected areas. Photo © Neil Thompson

Ceruchus chrysomelinus

Ceruchus chrysomelinus is distributed across most of Europe, except in the United Kingdom and Ireland, though its habitat requirements are very specific and it thus occupies a relatively small area within this large range. It is typically restricted to old growth forests, where it depends for its larval development upon large lying logs that have been decaying for a long time. It therefore requires old, large trees and a management regime that allows decaying logs to be left lying for many years. Any activity which destroys these veteran trees is a threat to this species. This specific habitat is highly fragmented and in decline, leading to declines in populations of this rare, localized beetle. As a result, the species is assessed as Near Threatened. Photo © Stanislav Krejcik

Violet Click Beetle_Limoniscus violaceus

The Violet Click Beetle (Limoniscus violaceus) is dependent on dead wood for its survival and can be typically found in cavities of old trees. Its larvae usually develop in wood mould derived from fungal decay in the base of hollow trees in sites like ancient forests, old wood pastures and old coppiced woodlands.  The unfavourable forest management of old trees has led to the species declining in many countries, and this species currently has a very fragmented distribution across central Europe. Between the key actions to preserve the species are the conservation of old-growth trees and the protection of sites where it is known that this beetle occurs. The preservation of traditional coppicing and the provision of substitute habitat by creating trees with cavities are also important for maintaining these beetle populations. This Endangered species is listed on Annex II of the EU Habitats Directive. Photo © Nicolas Gouix

Goldstreifiger_Buprestis splendens

Despite its wide distribution across Europe from Russia to the western coast, the Goldstreifiger (Buprestis splendens) is very rare and declining throughout its fragmented range. It is extinct in Germany, Austria and Sweden, may be extinct in Ukraine and Spain, and currently occurs in only a minor portion of its original range. It is dependent on dead wood of sun-exposed host trees for its survival and can be found in relict old growth Pinus forests. Like all saproxylic beetles, this species plays an essential role in recycling nutrients in the ecosystem. The main threat to this Endangered beetle is commercial and illegal logging, which affects the age structure and density of the forest. Additional threats include slow re-growth of host trees, which causes populations to be vulnerable to single threatening events such as fires, and commercial collection. Although protected under the Bern Convention and EU Habitats Directive, the Goldstreifiger is likely to struggle unless conditions improve. Photo © Stanislav Krejcik

Cucujus cinnaberinus

Found throughout much of Europe, the strongest populations of Cucujus cinnaberinus are in central Europe; it is declining and largely absent in the south and west, and may have gone extinct in several countries. However, due to withering poplar plantations, the central-eastern populations are expanding and in 2010 this species moved from Vulnerable to Near Threatened. Larvae and adults live under the bark of deadwood in a variety of broad-leaved trees, relying primarily on decaying wood as a food source, and provide important ecosystem services of nutrient cycling and habitat maintenance. Changing land use leading to structural changes in tree populations is the main threat, especially logging but also long-term changes toward canopy closure as a result of minimum-intervention forests management. Fortunately the species occurs in several protected areas and is listed in international conservation legislation. Photo © Nicolas Gouix and Hervé Brustel


Posidonia sinuosa

Posidonia sinuosa is endemic to western and southern Australia, where it is widely distributed in marine embayments and near shore areas. It is a slow growing species with a long recruitment time of 20 years. A decrease in water quality, sedimentation and coastal development are the main threats to this Vulnerable species. It is thought that Posidonia sinuosa has declined by more than 30% over the last 60 years. For example, in Oyster Harbour, Western Australia, diffuse nutrient and sediment influx from rural catchments caused dramatic seagrass losses between 1962 and 1988. There are no specific conservation measures in place to protect this species; fortunately, it does occur in various marine protected areas. Photo © Gary Kendrick

Halophila hawaiiana

A Hawaiian endemic, Halophila hawaiiana inhabits the shallow subtidal zone in sandy protected areas. It is thought to be declining due to competition with invasive algal species, development of the coastlines and beach replenishment. This Vulnerable species has a fairly narrow depth range and a restricted distribution, thus increasing its extinction risk. More research on the recruitment and taxonomy of Halophila hawaiiana is needed. Photo © F.T. Short

Ocean Turf Grass_Halophila beccarii

The Ocean Turf Grass (Halophila beccarii) has a disjunct distribution in the Indo-Pacific. While it can be locally abundant, the global population is thought to be declining. Ocean Turf Grass grows in the upper intertidal zone on mud or muddy sand in estuarine and coastal areas. It is a fast growing species, which is susceptible to a number of threats due to its narrow habitat range. Habitat destruction from cyclones, waves, intense grazing and infestation of fungi and epiphytes are the main threats to this Vulnerable species. Impacts from coastal development and mangrove destruction must be controlled to protect this species. Photo © F.T. Short

Ascension Island Parsley Fern_Anogramma ascensionis

The Ascension Island Parsley Fern (Anogramma ascensionis) is known only from the Green Mountain area on Ascension Island in the South Atlantic Ocean. It was thought to be Extinct as only one record was made in the 20th Century (in 1958). However, four individuals were rediscovered in July 2009 and subsequent surveys found approximately 40 individuals in nearby locations. Competition from non-native weeds, such as the grasses Sporobolus africanus and Paspalum scrobiculatum, is likely the primary cause of decline for this Critically Endangered species. Ex-situ conservation of the Ascension Island Parsley Fern is in place, however a long term sustained programme of cultivation is needed to ensure that viable material can be secured. Photo © Reinhard Mischke

Araucaria muelleri

Araucaria muelleri is restricted to a small part of the Southern Massif and the Goro Plateau in New Caledonia. It inhabits maquis shrubland and is rarely emergent in rainforest. Growth and regeneration are very slow, and ecological barriers permit little opportunity for recolonization or genetic exchange between the subpopulations. Mining developments and wildfires are the main threats to this Endangered species. Photo © Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Araucaria biramulata

Araucaria biramulata occurs only in the southern part and two isolated localities in the northern part of New Caledonia. The main threats in the northern part of its range are mining and associated activities, while the localities in the south are threatened by fires. The total population numbers less than 10,000 mature individuals, with no subpopulation containing more than 1,000 mature individuals. On the basis of its limited distribution, declining population and ongoing threats, Araucaria biramulata has been uplisted to Vulnerable. Photo © Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Araucaria humboldtensis

A New Caledonian endemic, Araucaria humboldtensis is restricted to the highest parts of four mountains in the southern massif (Mt Humboldt , Mt Kouakoué, Montagne des Sources and Mont Mou). Wildfires are currently the main threat, but climate change is also a potential threat to this species with a narrow altitudinal range. There has been significant die back of at least 10% at Mt Humboldt. The cause for this is currently unknown, but drought induced stress or pathogens are potential causes of this die back. It was listed as Lower Risk/ conservation dependent in1998, but it is now regarded as Endangered due to the decline in the quality of its habitat. Photo © Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Cycas micronesica

Cycas micronesica is found in Micronesia, the Marianas Group and the western Caroline Islands, mainly occurring in closed forests on coral limestone and coral sand. A number of introduced and native problematic species, such as the introduced Cycad Blue Butterfly and some pre-existing arthropod pests, are the main threats to this Endangered species. Cycas micronesica was relatively common in the 1990s, however the invasive Aulacaspis scale has had devastating impacts on the subpopulations on Guam. It is thought that this species will decline by more than 50% in the future. Cycas micronesica is listed on Appendix II of CITES. Photo © Thomas Marler

Escarpment Cycad_Encephalartos brevifoliolatus

A South African endemic, the Escarpment Cycad (Encephalartos brevifoliolatus) is now considered to be Extinct in the Wild. It used to occur in short grassland and on cliffs, and was originally known from a single population of five to seven male plants. Several of the last remaining plants were removed by poachers, and conservation officials then removed the last stems to a safe ex situ location in 2004. It is listed on Appendix I of CITES. Photo © SANBI

Encephalartos whitelockii

Encephalartos whitelockii is only found along parts of the Mpanga River, southwestern Uganda. It was uplisted from Vulnerable to Critically Endangered following approval for the construction of a hydroelectric plant just above Mpanga River Falls. Construction work for the plant began in 2008 and a decline in the population of E. whitelockii has already been recorded. While a management plan was developed, the construction of the plant and increased access to the site are believed to be responsible for further declines in this species. Encephalartos whitelockii is listed on Appendix I of CITES. Photo © Michael McLeish/SANBI

Cadiscus aquaticus

Cadiscus aquaticus is a South African aquatic plant that occurs in temporary pools. It has only been recorded from nine places in the Western Cape, but it no longer occurs in least four of these sites. Grazing and trampling by cattle and horses is the most likely cause of this plant disappearing from many of its historic localities. Infilling of wetlands and damage by heavy machinery are also threatening the future survival of this Critically Endangered species. Photo © Nick Helme

Oxalis dines

Oxalis dines is known from Vanrhynsdorp to Clanwilliam and Calvinia, Western Cape, South Africa. It inhabits seasonal pools and pans in clay, which are highly isolated from another. Heavy grazing and trampling of floating plants in shallow pools are the main threats to this species. This Vulnerable species would benefit from habitat and site management and protection, and also from habitat restoration. Photo © Nick Helme

Panicaut Atlantique_Eryngium atlanticum

Panicaut Atlantique (Eryngium atlanticum) is endemic to Western Morocco, where it inhabits temporary pools on sandy ground. Wetland reclamation has led to the disappearance of numerous pools from the Atlantic plains, causing a decline in the population size of this species. Currently listed as Near Threatened, it could be uplisted to a threatened category if more locations are lost in the future. Photo © Laila Rhazi

Serapias a Petales Etroits_Serapias stenopetala

Endemic to Algeria and Tunisia, the perennial orchid Sérapias à Pétales Étroits (Serapias stenopetala) is found in small, scattered populations of very few individuals; there are less than 250 individuals in total. This Critically Endangered species is threatened by the destruction of roadside ditches it inhabits, trampling and grazing by livestock, and the creation of an Animal Park in Brabtia, Algeria. Trade of all orchids is regulated under Annex B of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), but a specific policy of protection and conservation is urgently needed. Photo © Gerard de Belair

Sassifraga del Monte Tombea_Saxifraga tombeanensis

The Sassifraga del Monte Tombea (Saxifraga tombeanensis) enters the IUCN Red List as Endangered in 2010. This rare species is known only from the Italian Alps, where populations are fragmented and found in low densities. A “cushion” plant, it grows in low, compact clumps in the cracks and fissures of limestone and dolomitic vertical cliffs, and as such has very particular ecological requirements. Changes in the native species dynamics due to competing species are the main current threat; it is also harvested by collectors and gardeners, and may be affected by climate changes in the alpine region in the future. It is currently protected under international conservation legislation and is found in several protected areas. Photo © Stefano Armiraglio