2014 Photo Gallery



Kix Fox_Vulpes macrotis

The Kit Fox (Vulpes macrotis) is the smallest species of the Canidae family which is found in North America. It lives in the deserts and arid lands of southwestern USA and north and central Mexico. The main threat to the long-term survival of this species is habitat conversion, mainly to agriculture but also to urban and industrial development. However, it is common in parts of its range and its population decline is currently not thought to be steep enough to trigger listing in a threatened category. It is therefore assessed as Least Concern, however this status could change in the future if current habitat loss trends continue. Photo © Donald Quintana Nature Photography

Blue Sheep_Pseudois nayaur

The Blue Sheep or Bharal (Pseudois nayaur) is a Least Concern species with a wide range in the Himalaya – it can be found in Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan, in high mountains from 2,500-5,500 m asl. They are very tolerant of environmental extremes from desert mountains in searing heat to windy and cold slopes. They feed on grass and alpine herbs and lichens and live in small to rather large herds, alternately resting and feeding on steep grassy slopes of alpine meadows. Sentinels watch out for snow leopards, their primary predator. Although there are local threats, including overhunting, disease outbreaks, and possibly competition with livestock, its large population is unlikely to be declining at a sufficiently steep rate to justify listing in a higher category. Photo © Smithsonian Wild (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Brazilian Three-banded Armadillo_Tolypeutes tricinctus

The Brazilian Three-banded Armadillo (Tolypeutes tricinctus) is the mascot of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which will take place in Brazil this summer. When threatened, this species rolls up in to a near impenetrable ball for protection. Previously thought to be extinct, this species was rediscovered in a handful of locations in 1988. It maintains its previous assessment of Vulnerable due to a population decline thought to exceed 30% over the past three generations of this species (10 to 15 years). This decline is primarily the result of hunting pressure and habitat loss, as its cerrado (bush savanna) habitat is being converted to sugar cane and soybean plantations. Photo © Joares Adenilson May Júnior

Pygmy Three-toed Sloth_Bradypus pygmaeus

The smallest of all sloths, the Pygmy Three-toed Sloth (Bradypus pygmaeus) is known only from Isla Escudo de Veraguas, in the islands of Bocas del Toro, Panama where it lives in mangroves and the dense interior tropical forests of the island. It is a cryptic canopy species, making it difficult to census and as a result little is known about the population or ecology of this species. Isla Escudo de Veraguas is uninhabited but seasonal visitors harvest timber to maintain wooden houses on the island and this leads to degradation of the species habitat. Based on its restricted range and declines in the habitat quality and area, this species maintains its previous Critically Endangered assessment. Photo © Bryson Voirin

Ring-tailed Lemur_Lemur catta

Endemic to Madagascar, the Ring-tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) is probably the most easily recognisable of all lemur species, with its long black and white banded tail. The rate of the population decline of this species has recently increased, resulting in this previously Near Threatened lemur being uplisted to Endangered. Despite the ecological flexibility of this species, population declines are occurring as a result of habitat loss, with its dry forest and bush habitat being burnt to create new pasture for livestock, as well as hunting of the species for food and removal of animals from the wild for the pet trade. Photo © Nick Garbutt

Diademed Sifaka_Propithecus diadema

A large and colourful lemur species, the Diademed Sifaka (Propithecus diadema) has been uplisted from Endangered to Critically Endangered. Although this species is the most widely distributed of the sifakas, it is still rare and occurs at low densities throughout its range in eastern Madagascar. Its rainforest habitat is being destroyed by slash and burn agriculture and timber extraction. The Diademed Sifaka occurs in a number of protected areas but unfortunately hunting of this species for its meat and fur has a serious impact even within these parks and reserves. It is predicted that these threats will result in a population reduction of more than 80% over three generations of this species (45 years) in the future. Photo © Nick Garbutt

Aye-aye_Daubentonia madagascariensis

The Aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) is an unusual looking nocturnal lemur species, with a long and thin middle finger adapted for foraging. It occurs in forests and mangrove swamps of coastal Madagascar, where seeds of ramy (a dietary staple for the species) can be found. This species is persecuted in some areas as it is thought to be a symbol of bad luck and is also considered to be a crop pest. Additionally, habitat destruction is a threat to the species throughout its range as tree species that are food resources for the Aye-aye are removed for use in construction. As a result of past and predicted future population declines this species has been uplisted from Near Threatened to Endangered. Photo © Nick Garbutt

Indri_Indri indri

The Indri (Indri indri) is the largest of the surviving lemurs and is found in tropical moist lowland and montane forests in Madagascar. Previously assessed as Endangered, it has been uplisted to Critically Endangered due to a predicted future population decline of over 80% in three generations of this species (36 years). In the past, fady (taboos in the traditional culture of Madagascar) have helped to protect this species from hunting. Unfortunately, fady are becoming less respected and levels of illegal hunting for bush meat are increasing. This species is also threatened by habitat destruction for slash and burn agriculture, logging and fuel wood gathering. Photo © David Cook (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Hairy-eared Dwarf Lemur_Allocebus trichotis

A nocturnal lemur species endemic to Madagascar, the Hairy-eared Dwarf Lemur (Allocebus trichotis) was last assessed in 2008 as Data Deficient. With new information available, it has been reassessed this year as Vulnerable. This species is thought to be rare throughout its moist forest habitat, with no more than a few dozen reported sightings in total. It is usually spotted in tangles of brush or lianas and nests in groups in holes of large trees. This lemur has undergone a population reduction of over 30% in the past three generations (15 years) and this is suspected to continue in the future, as a result of hunting and habitat loss due to slash and burn agriculture. Photo © Nick Garbutt

Greater Bamboo Lemur_Prolemur simus

The Greater Bamboo Lemur (Prolemur simus) maintains its previous assessment of Critically Endangered. There are now over 500 individuals of this species known to exist in the wild, as recent work has found this lemur occurring in new sites. However, it is still estimated to occupy only 1-4% of its former range. As the name suggests, bamboo is a key food species for this lemur and it associates with habitats containing large-culmed bamboo. This is the most commonly hunted lemur species in south Madagascar and this threat, along with slash and burn agriculture, illegal logging and mining, has led to drastic population declines in the species. Photo © Nick Garbutt

Indian Pangolin_Manis crassicaudata

The Indian Pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) occurs in South Asia and can be distinguished from other Asian pangolins by its considerably larger scales. It is primarily threatened by hunting for its meat and scales. Locally the meat is consumed as a source of protein and internationally the scales are used whole or in a powdered form in the preparation of traditional medicines. Poaching pressure on this species is increasing due to declines in the populations of other Asian pangolins and as a result it is uplisted from Near Threatened to Endangered. It is suspected that the population size of the Indian Pangolin will fall by at least 50% in the next three generations. Photo © Gerald Cubitt

Chinese Pangolin_Manis pentadactyla

The Chinese Pangolin (Manis pentadactyla) is listed as Critically Endangered (previously Endangered) due to past, ongoing and predicted future declines of over 90% in three generations. Much poaching is now for international trade, which is largely driven by market demand in China for the meat, a luxury dish, and for the scales, which are used in traditional medicines. Within the last decade trade in this species is estimated to have involved a minimum of tens of thousands of individuals, despite controls on export. The threat is thought to be particularly high as this species is reported as easier to locate and hunt in the wild than the Sunda Pangolin (Manis javanica). Photo © Skink Chen (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Temminck's Ground Pangolin_Smutsia temminckii

The most widespread of the African pangolins, Temminck’s Ground Pangolin (Smutsia temminckii) is a solitary, terrestrial species that primarily inhabits savanna woodland. The population is declining due to demand for their body parts and scales for bushmeat, medicinal purposes and superstitious value. There is increasing intercontinental trade in pangolins from Africa to Asia, as demand in Asia increases but local supply decreases. As a result there is an ongoing decline, which is projected to reduce the population size by 30-40% in three generations, and Temminck’s Ground Pangolin is uplisted from Least Concern to Vulnerable. Additionally, it is threatened due to direct mortality from accidental electrocution by electric fences. Photo © Darren Pietersen/African Pangolin Working Group

White-bellied Pangolin_Phataginus tricuspis

The predominantly nocturnal and arboreal White-bellied Pangolin (Phataginus tricuspis) is the most common of the African forest pangolins. However, the species is becoming increasingly scarce, with reports of declines in both size and abundance. This is of particular concern due to the low reproductive potential of the species and an ongoing decline of over 40% in three generations has resulted in the species being uplisted from Near Threatened to Vulnerable. Exploitation to provide bushmeat and traditional medicines for local markets is already high and this is set to increase with demand from international markets. Habitat loss and degradation also threaten this species, particularly in West Africa. Photo © Bart Wursten (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)


Bugun Liocichla_Liocichla bugunorum

First described in the 1990s, the Begun Liocichla (Liocichla bugunorum) is known from only three small areas in the Himalayas, eastern India, where just 14 individuals have been located. The forest habitat is being disturbed and fragmented due to logging for fuelwood and timber, construction of roads and uncontrolled fires. Based on this habitat loss and degradation, in combination with the very small population size of the species, this species is uplisted from Vulnerable to Critically Endangered. Intensive surveys of appropriate habitat are required to improve our understanding of the species’ range, population and ecology. Photo © Balaji Venkatesh Sivaramakrishnan (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Desertas Petrel_Pterodroma deserta

Assessed for the first time this year, the Desertas Petrel (Pterodroma deserta) enters the Red List as Vulnerable. This petrel is known to breed only on one island, Bugio in the Desertas off Madeira, Portugal. In the past, it was threatened by habitat degradation due to introduced goats, rabbits and mice, but these are now controlled. Soil erosion in nesting areas remains a threat to the species, despite mitigation work. Although the population is currently stable, this species is assessed as threatened due to its small and restricted population, which is vulnerable to human impacts. Photo © Olli Tenovuon (CC BY-NC-SA 1.0 FI)

Somali Ostrich_Struthio molybdophanes

The Somali Ostrich (Struthio molybdophanes) is now recognised as a distinct species and is assessed for the first time as Vulnerable. It is found often alone or in pairs in a variety of habitats, including semi-arid and arid grasslands, dense thornbush and woodland, in northeast Africa. The eggs are collected and used as ornaments, water containers and protective symbols on churches and graves. Individuals are hunted for food, leather and feathers, and are also chased to exhaustion or death by drivers. As a result of these threats, the species is undergoing a rapid population decline. Awareness raising campaigns are required to combat these threats. Photo © Steve Garvie (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Bearded Vulture_Gypaetus barbatus

The Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus barbatus) is recovering in Europe thanks to successful conservation programmes involving captive breeding, reintroduction and provision of feeding stations. However, the global population is in decline and as a result the species is uplisted from Least Concern to Near Threatened. This vulture is widespread across the Palearctic, Afrotropical and Indomalayan regions where it faces a myriad of threats. In Africa, the most prevalent threat to this scavenger is non-target poisoning, as individuals consume poisoned meat intended to control feral dogs. In India, an increase in feral dogs has led to greater competition for food. Throughout the range, construction of powerlines has resulted in habitat loss and increased mortality from collisions. Photo © Joachim S. Müller (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Lilacine Amazon_Amazona lilacina

Endemic to Ecuador, the Lilacine Amazon (Amazona lilacina) occurs in mangroves and dry tropical forest widely but sparsely spread across the Pacific slope. This habitat is becoming increasingly rare and fragmented due to urban expansion and aquaculture development for shrimp farming, leaving the species in small and isolated subpopulations. Habitat degradation, caused by timber and fuelwood harvesting, and trapping of individuals for the local pet trade also threaten this species. Assessed for the first time this year, this newly described species enters the Red List as Endangered. Photo © Steve Wilson (CC BY 2.0

Mauritius Kestrel_Falco punctatus

The Mauritius Kestrel (Falco punctatus) underwent a spectacular recovery from only four wild birds in 1974 to several hundred at the end of the 1990s as a result of intensive conservation efforts. However, population declines have now been observed, with a current estimate of fewer than 300 mature individuals, and this species has disappeared from part of its range. Recent declines are due to pesticide use in agriculture and mosquito control, introduced predators and habitat degradation caused by invasive plants. High rates of inbreeding in the population may also reduce the long-term viability of the species. As a result this species is uplisted from Vulnerable to Endangered. Photo © John Mauremootoo (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Chilean Woodstar_Eulidia yarrellii

The Chilean Woodstar (Eulidia yarrellii) is known only to breed in extreme northern Chile, where it inhabits native scrub in desert river valleys. Cultivation of these valleys is leading to habitat destruction, as native tree species are removed, and as a result the habitat is becoming increasingly patchy. Rapid population declines are ongoing because of this threat, in combination with increased pesticide use and competition with other hummingbird species. It has been speculated that this species could face extinction within two decades and there are currently around 350 mature individuals remaining. Therefore, this hummingbird is uplisted from Endangered to Critically Endangered. Photo © Pablo Caceres Contreras (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Yellow-billed Magpie_Pica nuttalli

Endemic to California in the USA, the Yellow-billed Magpie (Pica nuttalli) naturally occurs in oak savanna to the west of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Over recent decades this omnivore has been increasing in numbers in suburban settings, particularly Sacramento Valley. However, between 2003 and 2006 West Nile Virus led to a population crash of 49%. Although there is evidence that the population is now recovering, this species is uplisted from Least Concern to Near Threatened. Ongoing threats to the species include summer droughts, which reduce the abundance of large insect prey, habitat loss due to agricultural and urban expansion and consumption of poisons targeted at ground squirrels. Photo © Matt Knoth (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


Usambara Flap-nosed Chameleon_Kinyongia tenuis

The beautiful Usambara Flap-nosed Chameleon (Kinyongia tenuis) is assessed as Endangered due to its restricted distribution, severely fragmented population, and continuing declines in the extent and quality of suitable habitat due to deforestation and agricultural encroachment. It is only known for certain from forest patches in the Usambara Mountains of Tanzania, though an additional population from the Shimba hills in Kenya may also belong to this species. It doesn’t occur in transformed landscapes (agricultural land or patchy bushes) between the forest fragments. Conservation measures to reduce the impact on the remaining forest patches would benefit this species. Like many related species, it occurs in the international pet trade, and although there is some captive breeding of this species, roughly half of the traded individuals are collected from the wild. Photo © Stephen Zozaya

Giant East Usambara Blade-horned Chameleon_Kinyongia matschiei

The Giant East Usambara Blade-horned Chameleon (Kinyongia matschiei) enters the Red List this year as Endangered. This forest specialist is found in Afrotemperate forest - it is sometimes observed at forest edges, or in modified vegetation adjacent to forest patches, but it does not range across the transformed landscape. The forest patches it inhabits in the East Usumbara Mountains are small and fragmented, and the remaining forest is impacted by timber removal, continued agricultural expansion and the spread of the invasive umbrella tree (Maesopsis eminii), which is affecting forest ecosystems. Although part of its range is Nature Reserve, effective enforcement is lacking – if this were implemented, its conservation status may improve. Photo © Stephen Zozaya

Spiny-sided Chameleon_Trioceros laterispinis

Previously assessed in 2004 as Vulnerable, the Spiny-sided Chameleon (Trioceros laterispinis) has been uplisted to Endangered on the basis that its distribution was previously overestimated – expert knowledge of the species and the area in which it occurs have allowed the assessors to produce more accurate figures for its area of occupancy and extent of occurrence, now known to be around just 500 km2 and 2,700 km2 respectively. Its forest habitat of the Udzungwa Mountains of Tanzania is under threat from transformation, resource extraction, and commercial and small scale tea plantations. This species is thought to be a habitat specialist with a very limited ability to tolerate habitat modification, and has not been recorded far from natural vegetation. One of the forest patches it is found in is a proposed nature reserve, which would provide its forest habitat a higher degree of protection. Photo © Krystal A. Tolley

Common African Flap-necked Chameleon_Chamaeleo dilepis

The Common African Flap-necked Chameleon (Chamaeleo dilepis) is a Least Concern species which is widely distributed throughout southern and eastern Africa, and can be found in a wide range of habitats including in rural and suburban areas. It is popular in the pet trade, being the third most heavily exported chameleon species on the planet, with the greatest demand coming from the USA. Although there are currently no known or observed effects of removal for the pet trade on natural populations, careful attention should be paid to detect early warning signs for declines in the population. Photo © Krystal A. Tolley

Chinese Cobra_Naja atra

Assessed for the first time this year, the Chinese Cobra (Naja atra) is listed as Vulnerable. Its population in China has reduced by at least 30% in the last ten years, mainly due to overexploitation and pollution, and in the other parts of its range (Taiwan, Lao PDR and Viet Nam) the same threats may be causing similar declines. This large snake is harvested for food, and the level of offtake from the wild is increasing despite there also being captive sources for this purpose. Photo © Skink Chen (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Stejneger's Snail Sucker_Sibon longifrenis

A colourful snake species, Stejneger's Snail Sucker (Sibon longifrenis) is distributed in the lowlands of the Atlantic versant in Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua, where it is found in undisturbed forests. Although the species is thought to be relatively uncommon across its range, populations are currently stable, and it is assessed for the first time this year as Least Concern. Deforestation for agriculture and wood extraction may threaten the species but the impact of these activities on the species is unknown. It has been suggested that this species is a mimic of Bothriechis schlegelii due to similarity in their colouration. Photo © Geoff Gallice (CC BY 2.0)

March's Palm Pit Viper_Bothriechis marchi

March’s Palm Pit Viper (Bothriechis marchi) is found in the rainforests of Honduras. It is associated with streams, and frogs form an important part of the species' diet. Regularly observed in the 1980s, this species has undergone sharp declines as a result of numerous threats. Collapses in populations of its amphibian prey are negatively affecting this viper. Additionally, the pet trade (with hundreds of individuals exported out of Honduras annually), timber extraction and agricultural expansion threaten this species. It is assessed for the first time as Endangered due to its restricted distribution and ongoing declines in the population size and habitat. Photo © Dr. Silviu Petrovan

Central American Mabuya_Marisora unimarginata

Assessed for the first time this year, the Central American Mabuya (Marisora unimarginata) enters the Red List as Least Concern. This skink has a widespread distribution across Panama and Costa Rica. It occurs in tropical moist and dry forests but is also tolerant of degraded habitats and has been found in artificial habitats including fields and pastures. At present no threats to this species are known and it is thought to have a large and stable population. Photo © Víctor Acosta Chaves

Chinese Crocodile Lizard_Shinisaurus crocodilurus

The Chinese Crocodile Lizard (Shinisaurus crocodilurus) is an obligate semi-aquatic lizard with a fragmented distribution across China and Viet Nam, where it is restricted to small streams and pools in karst mountain drainages. It frequently perches out of water motionless for hours and this behaviour increases its susceptibility to hunting. In addition to illegal harvesting for the international pet trade, this species is threatened by logging, agro-forestry, dam construction and mining, all of which degrade the species' habitat, and electro-fishing and poisoning, methods used to catch fish, which lead to species mortality. It enters the Red List as Endangered. Photo © Silvain de Munck (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


Andinobates tolimensis

Previously Endangered, Andinobates tolimensis has been downlisted to Vulnerable thanks to a genuine improvement in its status. This frog is only known from a single forest fragment in the northern Cordillera Central of the Colombian Andes, and this habitat was being lost due to cattle grazing, selective logging and agricultural crops. Then, in 2008, the Ranita Dorada Amphibian Reserve was established, which includes this forest fragment. The reserve is currently well protected and there are also ongoing restoration efforts within it. An environmental education program is under way to generate awareness of the reserve and this species within the local community. Photo © Cristian Gallego (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Andinobates dorisswansonae

Andinobates dorisswansonae is part of the same good news story as Andinobates tolimensis (see above), as this species is also known from a small forest fragment which is now protected as part of the Ranita Dorada Amphibian Reserve. Were it not for the presence and effectiveness of this protected area, both of these poison dart frogs would still be in the higher categories, with a greater risk of extinction. This species has now been moved from the Critically Endangered category to Vulnerable - however, there are still some threats to it, as illegal collection of individuals for the pet trade has been observed. Photo © Mauricio Rivera Correa (CC BY-SA 2.5)

Sachatamia punctulata

Although it is common within its restricted distribution, Sachatamia punctulata has been uplisted from Vulnerable to Endangered due to new information on its extent of occurrence – now known to be under 5000 km2. The population of this Colombian frog is considered to be severely fragmented, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its forest habitat outside of protected areas due to the expansion of agriculture (cattle raising and planting of illegal crops), and water pollution in la Cordillera Central. It does also occur within two reserves, offering it some protection - continued enforcement of these protected areas will be important for maintaining critical forest habitat within its range. Photo © Mauricio Rivera Correa (CC BY-SA 2.5)

Pseudophilautus ocularis

Pseudophilautus ocularis is probably restricted to cloud forest in a single location on the eastern side of the Sinharaja World Heritage Site in southwestern Sri Lanka, with an extent of occurrence estimated as 63 km2. In the previous assessment (2004), the extent of occurrence was not reported, resulting in this frog being assessed as Endangered – but with the new information concerning its restricted distribution, it now moves up to the Critically Endangered category. It is threatened by the loss of forest canopy for expansion of cardamom and tea plantations, clearing of undergrowth, collection of firewood, and human settlement. However, where cardamom plantations occur within cloud forest with shade trees, this species is able to occupy this habitat. Photo © Don Church

Taruga fastigo

Previously assessed in 2004, the arboreal frog Taruga fastigo maintains its Critically Endangered status. It is known from only a 3 km2 site in the Morningside Estate in southwestern Sri Lanka, at an elevation of 1,060 m asl. It is probably restricted to this area, which is comprised of a single forest remnant embedded in a vast deforested matrix. In addition, it is generally rare within this area. Its main threats are habitat loss and degradation due to canopy removal and the clearance of undergrowth, expanding timber plantations, subsistence collection of wood, encroaching tea and cardamom plantations, and human settlement. It might also be impacted by the adverse effects of agro-chemical pollution, and invasive species within the Morningside reserve may also be a threat. Photo © Don Church

Osgood's Ethiopian Toad_Altiphrynoides osgoodi

Osgood’s Ethiopian Toad (Altiphrynoides osgoodi) is endemic to the mountain forests of south central Ethiopia. Last recorded in 2003 despite extensive recent surveys of the area, this toad is uplisted from Vulnerable to Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct). This once locally common species has undergone drastic declines and if it still exists, it is estimated to have a population size of no more than 50 mature individuals. The historic range of the species has undergone environmental degradation, primarily due to destruction of forests for housing and subsistence agriculture. There is also high prevalence of Chytrid fungus in amphibians in highland Ethiopia, although it is unknown as to whether this is impacting the species. Photo © Michael Hoffman

Continental Divide Treefrog_Isthmohyla graceae

In 2008, the Continental Divide Treefrog (Isthmohyla graceae) was assessed as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct) as the population had declined drastically and it disappeared from all previously known sites. This arboreal species was found in on both sides of the continental divide in Panama and possibly Costa Rica, in humid montane forests and small water bodies. In 2010, it was rediscovered in Western Panama, and several calling males were detected at what is now the only known extant population. However, it remains Critically Endangered. Infection by Chytrid fungus was first recorded in the area in 1999 and this poses the most serious threat to this species. Additionally, it is threatened by deforestation for road construction and agriculture. Photo © Andreas Hertz

Rhacophorus helenae

Rhacophorus helenae is known only from two patches of mixed lowland forest in south Viet Nam. These patches are isolated from each other by agricultural land and further encroachment of agriculture on the habitat poses a major threat to the species. Collection of individuals for the pet trade is also a concern. Only five individuals of the species have ever been recorded despite intensive surveys of the two localities. This frog species is assessed for the first time this year as Endangered, based on its restricted distribution. As this species is poorly known, addressing the lack of data through research and monitoring is the first step towards its conservation. Photo © Jodi Rowley/Australian Museum Research Institute

Laotriton laoensis

Laotriton laoensis is a species of salamander known only from the mountains of northern Lao PDR. Its initial description in 2002 inadvertently brought the species and its localities to the attention of commercial traders, leading to ongoing unsustainable harvest and subsequent use in the international pet trade and, to a lesser extent, in traditional medicines. Thus the primary threat to this species is over-harvesting, to which its biology makes it extremely vulnerable. As it is active during the day, swimming on the bottom of shallow pools in clear water, and is brightly coloured, it is harvested quickly, easily, and in large numbers. Habitat loss and modification are likely to be additional threats. Previously Data Deficient, this species has been reassessed as Endangered. Photo © Henk Wallays


Pacific Bluefin Tuna_Thunnus orientalis

The Pacific Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus orientalis) has moved from Least Concern to Vulnerable, as it is estimated that this species’ population has declined between 19–33% over the past 22 years, due to overfishing. The latest fisheries stock assessment estimates that the spawning stock biomass in 2012 was approximately 4% of the stock’s estimated unfished spawning stock biomass levels. This fish measures up to three meters long, but a large proportion of those caught are juveniles, which have not yet had the chance to reproduce. The catch of juveniles under 1 year old has substantially increased since the early 1990s. This, along with the increasing market value of this species, may be an indicator of the increasing fishery pressure on this tuna. Photo © Monterey Bay Aquarium - Randy Wilder

Threadfin Porgy_Evynnis cardinalis

The Threadfin Porgy (Evynnis cardinalis) is one of the most valuable and popular marine fish resources throughout its range in the Indo-West Pacific. It is threatened by overexploitation and exhibits life history characteristics, such as longevity and late maturity, which make it particularly sensitive to this. There is indication of stock collapse and evidence of significant stock reductions. Based on population declines of over 50% in the past 39 years (three generations), this species is assessed as Endangered. Management regulations, including a closed season and increasing the minimum length of capture, are recommended. Photo © David Cook

Blaasop Beauty_Chelonodon pleurospilus

Assessed as Endangered, the Blaasop Beauty (Chelonodon pleurospilus) is endemic to South Africa where it is known only from the Xora river mouth to Durban, with an area of occupancy estimated at just 91 km2. Durban is considered to be one of the most heavily polluted areas in South Africa due to heavy industrialization, and this is thought to be causing a continuing decline in the extent and quality of suitable habitat available to this fish. As it inhabits shallow waters, it is particularly vulnerable to coastal development and pollution. Photo © Dennis King

Hawaiian Whitespotted Toby_Canthigaster jactator

The Hawaiian Whitespotted Toby (Canthigaster jactator) is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands and Johnston Atoll, where it is common and locally abundant. This reef-associated fish can be found in a variety of habitats at depths ranging from one to 89 metres, and feeds on a variety of vertebrate and invertebrate prey. Although it is a component of the marine aquarium trade, there are no indications of population declines from harvesting at present time. Additionally, its distribution overlaps with several marine reserves in parts of its range. It is therefore listed as Least Concern, however monitoring of harvest levels for the aquarium trade is recommended. Photo © Klaus Stiefel (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Cui-ui_Chasmistes cujus

The Cui-ui (Chasmistes cujus) is confined to Pyramid Lake in Nevada, although previously it also occurred in Winnemucca Lake, which dried up in the 1930s due to water diversion. Its major threats include loss of adequate water flow in the Truckee River, declining water quality resulting from the expanding urban population, and increased salinity in the lake. It migrates from the lake up the tributary Truckee River to spawn, but only in years in which there is sufficient attraction flow and passage above or around the delta. For many years access to the spawning habitat was difficult or impossible due to low water level in the lake and low flow in the river, and so in the early 2000s spawning runs were low or nil. High flows then stimulated a run of several hundred thousand in 2005, and this previously Critically Endangered fish has now been downlisted to Endangered. Photo © USFWS

Delta Smelt_Hypomesus transpacificus

The population of Delta Smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus) has decreased by more than 90% over the past 10 years, and this year it moves from the Endangered category to Critically Endangered. This fish is endemic to the upper San Francisco estuary, and historically was the most abundant pelagic fish in parts of the estuary. The decline is thought to be due to changes and fluctuations in the estuarine ecosystem, including reduction in outflows, entrainment losses of larvae and adults to water diversion, high outflows during years with unusually high rainfall (which flushes smelt and their food resources out of the system), and changes in food resources. The Delta Smelt’s low fecundity and one-year life span may contribute to its susceptibility to these threats. Photo © Moose Peterson, USFWS

Devil's Hole Pupfish_Cyprinodon diabolis

With a population size currently under 100 mature individuals, and a distribution confined to a single limestone pool, the Devil’s Hole Pupfish (Cyprinodon diabolis) is Critically Endangered. Since its previous assessment as Vulnerable in 1996, the population has continued to decrease for reasons which are still unclear. In September 2012 the population size dropped to around 75 fish, and in the autumn 2013 count the population had declined further to only 65 fish. Artificial populations (one refugium population and two temporary locations for larval rearing) do exist elsewhere, providing some hope even if the wild population dwindles to nothing. Photo © Olin Feuerbacher (CC BY 2.0)

Yarkon bream_Acanthobrama telavivensis

Due to successful conservation actions and reintroductions, the Yarkon Bream (Acanthobrama telavivensis) is no longer Extinct in the Wild and has now been reassessed as Vulnerable. Sixty years ago, this species was very abundant in most coastal streams in Israel. A sharp decline between 1950 and 1970 was followed by a stable population until 1999, however drought then resulted in the riverine habitat disappearing and the population declined almost to extinction. The last remaining individuals were taken from the remnants of the river and bred in captivity. In 2006 the fish was reintroduced to 12 rehabilitated natural sites and artificial ponds within its previous natural range. From 2007 to 2013 most of these stocked habitats, monitored by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, revealed large populations of assorted sizes and ages, showing successful breeding in the wild. Photo © Menachem Goren

Kiss-lip himri_Carasobarbus kosswigi

Very little is known about the Kiss-lip Himri (Carasobarbus kosswigi), which is known only from a few widely-spaced locations in the Euphrates and Tigris drainages. It is thought that the populations are declining due to major threats (in particular from dams and pollution) across its range. It is therefore assessed as Vulnerable, but the situation may even be more critical as the lack of new records from Turkey and Syria may suggest a stronger decline. Fisheries data from Iran strongly indicate a continuous decline of the species over the last 10 years of more than 30% but less than 50% and suggest a future decline at the same level. Photo © Zookeys (CC BY 3.0)

Burdur Spring Minnow_Pseudophoxinus burduricus

The Burdur Spring Minnow (Pseudophoxinus burduricus) is endemic to Turkey and is believed to exist in five independent populations which are all affected by water abstraction and climate change. At least two populations are also impacted by pollution. There is no information about population trends in this species but its habitats are situated in a fast drying out landscape and several springs and streams have been lost in the last two decades. It is therefore believed that the species is slowly declining. With its small extent of occurrence and area of occupancy, this species is therefore assessed as Endangered. Photo © Zookeys (CC BY 3.0)

Shortfin Eel_Anguilla bicolor

The Shortfin Eel (Anguilla bicolor) has been uplisted from Least Concern to Near Threatened following genuine deterioration in status. Due to declines in both the Japanese and European Eel, and the subsequent ban on trade of the latter, this species has been fulfilling some of the demand for eels for consumption in East Asia. This increasing exploitation is likely to continue. Additional threats are likely to include changing ocean currents, barriers to migration, mortality at hydropower turbines, pollution, and habitat reduction. The cumulative effects of multiple threats can be a major concern and thus monitoring and management of populations is highly recommended. Photo © FiMSeA


Black Grass-dart Butterfly_Ocybadistes knightorum

Endemic to New South Wales in Australia, the Black Grass-dart Butterfly (Ocybadistes knightorum) enters the Red List as Endangered. The habitat of this species is generally very low-lying with only two headland occurrences. As a result, sea level rise is a major threat and it is predicted to affect virtually all of the low lying habitat patches of this species by 2100. Due to the ecology of the host plant, this butterfly is unlikely to be able to migrate to higher elevations and therefore, development of a sea level rise adaptation strategy is required to conserve this species. Photo © Shane Ruming

Blue-legged Sylvan Katydid_Zabalius ophthalmicus

Assessed for the first time this year, the Blue-legged Sylvan Katydid (Zabalius ophthalmicus) enters the Red List as Least Concern. This katydid is widespread in the eastern part of sub-Saharan Africa. It lays its eggs in bark and spends its entire life in trees. When threatened, this species extends and displays its brightly coloured hind legs. No immediate threats are known to this species, which in recent years has successfully established subpopulations in urban areas of South Africa. Photo © Piotr Naskrecki

Serrated Winter Katydid_Brinckiella serricauda

A new addition to the Red List, the Serrated Winter Katydid (Brinckiella serricauda) is known from only one specimen collected near Garies in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province. This katydid was found along a highway in the succulent karoo biome. As the distribution, population size and trend, ecology and potential threats to this species are all unknown, it is assessed as Data Deficient. Further research is required before this species can be assigned a category of threat. Photo © Piotr Naskrecki

Tree Winter Katydid_Brinckiella arboricola

The Tree Winter Katydid (Brinckiella arboricola) is endemic to the Northern and Western Cape Provinces of South Africa. This katydid occurs in the fynbos and succulent karoo biomes, both of which are notable biodiversity hotspots. Within these biomes, it lives on low herbaceous shrubs and trees, where it feeds and stridulates at night and basks in the sunshine on sunny winter and early spring days. Habitat destruction, as a result of agricultural and urban development and invasion of alien species, is the main threat to this katydid. Based on these threats and its restricted distribution, it enters the Red List as Endangered. Photo © Piotr Naskrecki

Bombus fraternus

Bombus fraternus is a species of bumblebee found in the Eastern Temperate Forest region on the coastal plain of the southeastern United States. This short-tongued bee is associated with grasslands and urban gardens. Conversion of grasslands to agriculture is a major threat to this species as much of the range is prime land for corn production. This bumblebee has declined by 57% in the past 10 years and, if the same rate of decline continues, this species could potentially go extinct within 80 to 90 years. Bombus fraternus enters the Red List as Endangered. Photo © Paul H. Williams

Canterbury Knobbled Weevil_Hadramphus tuberculatus

Believed to be Extinct since around 1922, the Canterbury Knobbled Weevil (Hadramphus tuberculatus) was rediscovered in 2004 and is now assessed as Critically Endangered. It is found in a single small site in the Canterbury Region of New Zealand’s South Island, with a tiny and decreasing population – estimated as 138 in 2009, 90 in 2010 and 76 in 2011 – however, sampling this species is difficult and subject to a large error. The New Zealand Department of Conservation has a detailed recovery plan for this weevil – the work is intensive but effective. Artificially rearing weevils in captivity is probably the single most effective action that will have the best chance of reducing its extinction risk. Several attempts have been made to rear the weevil in captivity with some success; two larvae were reared from eggs, however pupae have died. Photo © Mike Bowie, Lincoln University

Frigate Island Giant Tenebrionid Beetle_Polposipus herculeanus

Previously assessed as Critically Endangered, the Frigate Island Giant Tenebrionid Beetle (Polposipus herculeanus) was threatened in the past by habitat loss caused by introduced species but is now recovering, and has been reassessed this year as Vulnerable due to a genuine improvement. Its extinction on Round Island, Mauritius (attributed to habitat destruction caused by introduced rabbits and goats) left only one population on Frigate Island, Seychelles. When brown rats invaded this island in the 1990s, catastrophic loss was feared, but the rats were successfully eradicated. Climate change is likely to lead to habitat alteration in the future, with unknown impacts on the beetle. Photo © Julie Gane

Wilson's Winter Katydid_Brinckiella wilsoni

Public participation in the website iSpot led to the addition of four locations to the known range of Wilson's Winter Katydid (Brinckiella wilsoni), doubling the known extent of occurrence of the species and illustrating the potential positive contribution of such platforms for assessing species' distributions. It is endemic to two sensitive biodiversity hotspots in South Africa, the Cape Floristic Region and Succulent Karoo, but it is known from at least 13 locations, is commonly encountered and is found within at least two protected areas (Hantam National Botanical Garden and Maskam Nature Reserve). It has therefore been assessed as Least Concern. Photo © Piotr Naskrecki

Lila Downs' Friar Grasshopper_Liladownsia fraile

Recently discovered in southern Mexico, Lila Downs' Friar Grasshopper (Liladownsia fraile) is named after a Mexican-American singer-songwriter. It only occurs in a very small area in Oaxaca. Due to its small geographic distribution, the low number of localities and continuing decline of its habitat caused by grazing and forestry, it is assessed as Endangered. Further research and monitoring are required, along with site protection and management. Photo © Derek Woller

Common Spiny Lobster_Palinurus elephas

The Common Spiny Lobster (Palinurus elephas) is harvested throughout its range by recreational and commercial fisheries. Found in the eastern Atlantic from Norway to Morocco, and through most of the Mediterranean, overexploitation is the major threat. Catch per unit effort in Corsica and Sardinia (two of the largest fisheries) has declined by 25% in 15 years and 60% in 25 years respectively. Based on the predicted population decline which these data reflect, the species has been assessed as Vulnerable. Closed seasons, where in force, appear to be the most effective management measure for the species. It is recommended that a species action plan is developed linking all fisheries associated with this species in order to cease population decline and allow sustainable practices. Photo © Georges Jansoone (CC BY 3.0)


Arrayan_Myrcianthes ferreyrae

The Arrayan (Myrcianthes ferreyrae) only occurs in the southern coastal hills of Arequipa city, Peru in tropical dry desert. The population has declined and become fragmented due to deforestation and overgrazing by introduced cattle and goats, with poor regeneration. As a result, in 2013 there were only 586 mature individuals remaining, some of which were old and dried with structural problems. Future threats include exploitation of the species for firewood, overgrazing, urbanisation and illegal mining. Based on these threats, the decline is predicted to continue and the species may become extinct within the next 80 years, unless conservation actions are undertaken. The Arrayan is assessed as Critically Endangered. Photo © Fiorella Nasha Gonzales

Grandiphyllum schunkeanum

Recently discovered and described, Grandiphyllum schunkeanum is only known from the type locality in Espírito Santo, Brazil. The Bahia Coastal Forest ecoregion, where this orchid occurs, is one of the most threatened in the world. At the type locality only small forest fragments remain amongst a mosaic of cropland, pastures and urban settlements. Fragmentation threatens epiphytic orchids due to loss of pollinators, increased risk of desiccation and fire, and invasion of ruderal plants. It also makes it easier for ornamental species to be found and collected, and this species could be subject to collection due to its attractive flowers. Establishment of biodiversity corridors may benefit this species, which is assessed as Critically Endangered. Photo © M. A. Campacci

Ormocarpum schliebenii

Endemic to the Rovuma Centre of Endemism, Ormocarpum schliebenii is assessed for the first time this year. This small tree is found in coastal dry forest, riverine woodland and coastal thicket on raised coral reefs in Mozambique and Tanzania. However, habitat loss is threatening this species as land is being cleared in southern Tanzania and northern Mozambique for plantations and crop cultivation. Road building and further agricultural expansion are likely to result in more habitat being lost in the future. This tree species is assessed as Near Threatened. Photo © Quentin Luke

Darwin's Cotton_Gossypium darwinii

Endemic to the Galapagos Islands, Darwin’s Cotton (Gossypium darwinii) is assessed for the first time this year. This plant is found in the shrubland and dry forest of 12 islands, as well as on a number of islets, in the Galapagos. Hybridisation with an introduced species of cotton, Gossypium barbadense, threatens this species and hybrids are known in and around villages on three islands. However, at present there is no evidence of a decline in the population and it is common as a shrub or tree. It enters the Red List in the category Least Concern. Photo © Prosperoid (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Sinai primrose_Primula boveana

The Sinai Primrose (Primula boveana) is endemic to a high mountain area of the St. Katherine Protectorate in southern Sinai, Egypt. The distribution and population size of this plant is dependent on the presence of water, with subpopulations occurring sporadically where the soil is wet. The population is small with 1,010 individuals, including only 165 mature individuals. Due to its dependence on water, irregular precipitation can lead to dramatic fluctuations in the population. As a result climate change, which could increase the frequency of droughts, is a major threat to this plant. Based on its highly restricted range and this threat, the Sinai Primrose is assessed as Critically Endangered. Photo © Dr. Karim Omar

Costus vinosus

Last recorded in the wild in 2004, Costus vinosus is a rare plant related to edible ginger. It has only ever been found at three localities in central Panama, one of which has been deforested and converted to pasture land with no plants still in existence there. At the other two localities, the species was not common and few plants were found at the last visit. The species is widely cultivated and well known to be difficult to grow and bring to flower, indicating that it is sensitive to habitat change. Since the last collection record was ten years ago, and the population has been estimated at less than 30 plants, it has been assessed as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct in the Wild). Photo © Dave Skinner

Saintpaulia ionantha

Saintpaulia ionantha is an African Violet species which forms the basis of the huge international industry in these attractive house plants, with most of the varied cultivars in horticultural trade deriving from this one species. In its wild habitat in Kenya and Tanzania, however, it is under threat from habitat loss – due to agricultural expansion, logging, and burning. A number of sites have already been lost or severely reduced, but the population reduction is hard to quantify. It has been assessed as Near Threatened, but further monitoring is needed as better information on the population reduction may result in this species qualifying as Vulnerable. Photo © Purrrpl_Haze (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Mount PaniƩ Kauri_Agathis montana

Endemic to New Caledonia, the Mount Panié Kauri (Agathis Montana) is a long-lived conifer known only from the higher altitudes (above 1000 m asl) of a few mountains. Previously assessed as Near Threatened, this species is now uplisted to Critically Endangered due to a genuine deterioration. Over the last five years a population decline has been observed, and this is projected to continue. Twenty percent of the trees within the area of a monitoring programme are already dead: 5% of mature monitored trees died between October 2012 and February 2014, suggesting a projected population reduction of 80% within the next 21 years and a likelihood of there being no mature trees left in 100 years – however, this is very uncertain due to the small sample size and the limited time period for which the situation has been monitored. Regional droughts, increased temperatures, and feral pigs (which disturb the vulnerable soil, kill fine roots, and are pathogen vectors) may all be contributing to the decline. Conservation management includes pig control and is due to start in 2015. Photo © Gildas Gâteblé (IAC)

Flame Tree_Delonix regia

Popular as a street tree across much of the tropics, the Flame Tree (Delonix regia) is native to the dry forests of Madagascar. Although its habitat is degraded and fragmented, this tree is Least Concern as it is currently still quite widespread and locally common, and is found in some protected areas – although the effectiveness of the official protection is not always adequate. During a collection trip in 2007, this tree was spotted in several locations that were previously unrecorded for the species. However, little regeneration was seen, and monitoring is required. The change from the previous assessment of Vulnerable is a non-genuine change, as it is due to new information and knowledge of the criteria. Photo © Tatiana Gerus (CC BY 2.0)

California Lady's Slipper_Cypripedium californicum

With numerous threats related to habitat loss and disturbance, the California Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium californicum) is newly assessed as Endangered. It has a restricted range occurring only in California and Oregon, USA, and usually occurs in small populations with less than 10 mature individuals and rarely more than 1000. The multiple threats – including urbanization, clear-cutting, suppression of natural disturbance regimes, logging practices, accidental trampling, hydrological alterations, mining operations, climate change and collection  are causing a continuing population decline and have led to the destruction of some subpopulations. Conservation measures, such as habitat projection and management, are needed in order to protect this species. Photo © Bill Bouton (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Kobushi Magnolia_Magnolia kobus

The Kobushi Magnolia (Magnolia kobus) is Data Deficient as there is insufficient information on its population, threats, and any declines to be able to assess its extinction risk. It is found throughout Japan, and may also be found in China and South Korea, although there is uncertainty regarding this occurrence and, if it does occur, whether it is native or introduced. Young buds of this tree are important ingredients in the Chinese medicine 'Shin-I', used as a sedative or analgesic, and in Japan it is taken internally for the treatment of headaches or colds. The chemical components found in this species are known to have anti-oxidative and antibacterial properties. The threats to the species are unknown, but it is presumed to be in decline due to urban development. Photo © BGCI

Nepenthes deaniana

The carnivorous plant Nepenthes deaniana is found only around the summit area of one Philippine mountain. The species was previously considered Data Deficient, as its continuing existence on the mountain had not been confirmed. Recent surveys have confirmed that it is still present, and although it has a very restricted range and a population of around 1000 mature individuals, public access to the mountain is strictly controlled. For as long as this measure continues to offer protection to the plant, its small population is likely to be relatively secure – it has therefore been reassessed as Near Threatened. Photo © Charles Clarke


Gymnoderma insulare

A new addition to the Red List, Gymnoderma insulare is a rare species of lichen found in Japan and Taiwan. This species is restricted to old-growth forests where it grows on Japanese Cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) and Hinoki Cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa) trees. Old-growth forests containing these two species have been largely destroyed in the past by intensive forestry and typhoons and they now only exist in a few protected areas. Hurricanes and other severe stand-level disturbances continue to pose a threat to both the tree and lichen species. Based on the restricted distribution, this lichen is assessed as Endangered. Photo © Yoshihito Ohmura

Anzia centrifuga

Assessed for the first time this year, Anzia centrifuga enters the Red List as Vulnerable. This lichen grows on well illuminated rocks and is known from only two small subpopulations on a volcano on Porto Santo Island in Madeira. The development of tourism and expansion of infrastructure in this locality could result in the habitat becoming heavily disturbed and degraded. Accidental extinction from fire, trampling and grazing is also a possibility due to the restricted distributed of this lichen. Further research in to the population size of this species is recommended. Photo © Reidar Haugan