2015 Photo Gallery



Polar Bear_Ursus maritimus

An iconic symbol of the effects of climate change, the Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) has been reassessed this year and maintains its Vulnerable status. Loss of Arctic sea ice is the most serious threat to Polar Bears throughout their circumpolar range, and analyses indicate a high probability that their population size will decrease by more than 30% in the next three generations. Polar Bears are dependent upon Arctic sea ice for access to their prey, and Arctic sea ice loss has so far progressed faster than most climate models have predicted. Although there has been no change to the Polar Bear’s Red List category, the new assessment is more robust and shows that the latest data and models support its continued assessment as Vulnerable. Photo © Alan D. Wilson (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Spotted Fanaloka_Fossa fossana

Following increased rates of habitat loss and hunting, the Spotted Fanaloka (Fossa fossana) has been uplisted from Near Threatened to Vulnerable. This Madagascan endemic species has suffered from the knock-on effects of breakdown of governance since the coup d’etat in 2009, and it is likely that over the next 22 years (three generation lengths of this species), its population will drop by more than 30%. This nocturnal small carnivore is found in humid tropical forests, and it seems not to adapt to secondary habitats. Photo © Aniket Sardana

Bokiboky_Mungotictis decemlineata

Widespread habitat loss has tripled since 2003-2006 in the core habitat area of the Bokiboky (Mungotictis decemlineata), another Madagascan endemic. In addition to this, hunting, persecution, and non-native carnivores are all affecting this species. It is likely that over the next three generations (18 years) its population will drop by more than 50%, and it has therefore been uplisted from Vulnerable to Endangered. Research and monitoring, as well as protection and management of the sites where this species is found, are necessary to prevent further declines. Photo © Nick Garbutt

Bare-tailed Woolly Opossum_Caluromys philander

With a wide range in South America from northern Venezuela to northeastern and southcentral Brazil, the Bare-tailed Woolly Opossum (Caluromys philander) is a fairly common forest-dwelling species. It inhabits the arboreal strata in rainforest, subtropical forest and marginal forest, but it also thrives in semi-natural areas such as plantations, secondary vegetation and abandoned human settlement areas. Some subpopulations of this species are threatened by loss of forest habitat, as it is arboreal and confined to forest, but overall it is not thought to have any major threats. It has been assessed as Least Concern. Photo © Arthur Tahara (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Curacaoan Long-nosed Bat_Leptonycteris curasoae

The Curaçaoan Long-nosed Bat (Leptonycteris curasoae) is a "keystone" species in its ecosystem as a long-distance pollinator and seed disperser of agave and columnar cacti. This bat is found in dry areas in northeast Colombia, north and western Venezuela, Margarita Island, Curaçao, Bonaire and Aruba. It roosts in caves, mines and in some cases in abandoned buildings and tunnels, often in colonies of several thousand, and emerges about an hour after sunset to feed on fruit, nectar and pollen. There is only a narrow range of suitable habitat and part of this is coastal, where much human expansion is occurring. Maternity colonies are scarce, extremely vulnerable and highly susceptible to human disturbance. This species has been assessed as Vulnerable due to its declining population size. Photo © USFWS (CC BY 2.0)

Clouded Leopard_Neofelis nebulosa

Elusive and arboreal, the Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) is found from the Himalayan foothills in Nepal through mainland Southeast Asia into China. They are less abundant range-wide than when last assessed in 2007: some countries have maintained stable Clouded Leopard abundance, however the majority of range countries have experienced moderate declines, with serious declines noted for Myanmar, Viet Nam and China. The major causes of declines are direct exploitation, range fragmentation, and reduction in habitat quality. This species maintains its Vulnerable status, and enforcement of legal restrictions and regulations on hunting and trade is required to prevent further declines. Photo © The Brit_2 (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Iberian Lynx_Lynx pardinus

The success story of the Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinus) shows that intensive conservation actions can and do work. After six decades of decline and pronounced range contraction, between 2002 and 2012 its population size continuously increased thanks to ongoing efforts. It has now been downlisted from Critically Endangered to Endangered. However, although the population is now increasing, it remains tiny – there are 156 mature individuals in the two remaining wild subpopulations. Demographic projections suggest that future range expansion and population increase for this species is dependent upon continued reintroductions. Climate change remains a significant threat, as it may cause the habitat within its range to become unsuitable. Photo © Iberian Lynx Ex-situ Conservation Programme / A. Rivas

Tiger_Panthera tigris

The Tiger (Panthera tigris) remains Endangered due to an ongoing population decline. It is now estimated that the global Tiger population is around 5,000 to 7,000 individuals. Poaching for illegal trade in high-value Tiger products, including skin, bones, meat, and tonics, is the primary threat – this has lead to their recent disappearance from broad areas of otherwise suitable habitat and continues at unsustainable rates: there are now roughly one million square kilometers of unoccupied Tiger habitat. One Tiger subspecies, the Malayan Tiger (Panthera tigris ssp. jacksoni) has been uplisted from Endangered to Critically Endangered this year due to its small population size and steepening decline. This brings the number of Critically Endangered Tiger subspecies up to three, out of six assessed extant subspecies. Photo © Eric Kilby (CC BY-SA 2.0)

African Golden Cat_Caracal aurata

The African Golden Cat (Caracal aurata) has been uplisted from Near Threatened to Vulnerable this year. This forest-dependent cat from equatorial Africa is undergoing a population decline due to deforestation and hunting for bushmeat. Golden cats are often not a primary target bushmeat species, but are frequently killed by wire snares, probably due to having a similar body size and trail use to target species such as Duikers. These threats are set to intensify, as the human population within the species’ range shows the fastest growth rates in the world. Photo © Laila Bahaa-el-din / Panthera

New Zealand Sea Lion_Phocarctos hookeri

New Zealand Sea Lions (Phocarctos hookeri) have a highly restricted distribution for a sea mammal, being mainly confined to several subantarctic islands south of New Zealand, and their surrounding waters. The population decline appears to have steepened to around 4% per year, and as a result it has been uplisted to Endangered (previously Vulnerable). The main causes of the decline are fishing-related mortality and disease epidemics, but these are not fully understood. Although management methods have been introduced to mitigate fishing interactions, the decline in Sea Lion numbers has not ceased. A population viability analysis has predicted a 98% probability that the largest population (in the Auckland Islands) will become extinct within five generations. Photo © Carlos Olavarria

Guadalupe Fur Seal_Arctocephalus townsendi

The Guadalupe Fur Seal (Arctocephalus townsendi) was hunted to near to extinction by the late 19th century, when only a few dozen animals remained and it was twice thought to have gone extinct. However, following the protection of the seal and its habitat, the population steadily increased and reached around 20,000 in 2010. As a result it has been moving down through the Red List categories, and this year it has reached Least Concern (last assessed in 2008 as Near Threatened). Despite the good news, this population is still much lower than it would have been before harvesting began, which has been estimated as 100,000 – 200,000 animals. The seal remains vulnerable to oil spills, disease, and negative effects of El Niño events. Photo © Casandra Gálvez

Eastern Tree Hyrax_Dendrohyrax validus

Previously Least Concern, the Eastern Tree Hyrax (Dendrohyrax validus) has been reassessed as Near Threatened due to a genuine deterioration in its status. This small herbivorous mammal, which occurs in Kenya and Tanzania, is often mistaken for a rodent but is actually more closely related to the elephant. Its habitat is severely fragmented and although it can be locally abundant it is undergoing a population decline due to hunting, and habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation – mainly due to logging and burning. Although it occurs in a number of reserves, much of its habitat is not adequately protected. Photo © IUCN Photo Library © Jim Thorsell


Seychelles Warbler_Acrocephalus sechellensis

A real success story, showing that targeted conservation actions can be highly effective, the Seychelles Warbler (Acrocephalus sechellensis) has been downlisted to Near Threatened. A few decades ago the Seychelles Warbler was driven to the verge of extinction by introduced predators and habitat destruction, with only 26 birds surviving on Cousin Island in 1968. As of 2015 the population now numbers around 3000 adult birds and continues to increase, and the species has been successfully translocated to the islands of Aride, Cousine, Denis and most recently Frégate in 2011. It is predicted that the populations on Denis and Frégate may eventually exceed 2,000 and 2,500 individuals respectively, increasing the overall population to over 6,500 individuals. Photo © Remi Jouan (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Brown Teal_Anas chlorotis

Another story of conservation success, the Brown Teal (Anas chlorotis) has been downlisted from Endangered to Near Threatened. This species is endemic to New Zealand, where it was once widespread in the North, South, Stewart and Chatham Islands, but its range is now much reduced. The current strongholds are on Great Barrier Island and on the east coast of Northland. After a study on Great Barrier Island indicated that the population was halving every 4.1 years and could rapidly decline to extinction, intensive management was initiated which has seen populations rising again. Predation by introduced mammalian predators, as well as the native Purple Gallinule (locally known as Pukeko), were the primary cause of the modern decline. Although intensive management has started to reverse the decline, habitat modification, drought-induced habitat change, traffic-caused road deaths and especially predation continue to endanger remnant mainland populations. Photo © Ralph Green (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

White-headed Vulture_Trigonoceps occipitalis

The White-headed Vulture (Trigonoceps occipitalis) has jumped straight from Vulnerable to Critically Endangered. Recent data suggest the already small population is declining at an extremely rapid rate owing to a variety of threats including poisoning, persecution and ecosystem alterations. This species has an extremely large range in sub-Saharan Africa, but is thought to have a population of under 5000 mature individuals. Potential introduction of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac, which is fatal to many vulture species when ingested at livestock carcasses, may be an additional future threat. Photo © Frank Wouters (CC BY 2.0)

Steppe Eagle_Aquila nipalensis

The Steppe Eagle (Aquila nipalensis) has been uplisted from Least Concern straight to Endangered due to rapid population declines. Found across Asia and eastern Europe, this species has sharply declined in the west of its breeding range, including extirpation from Romania, Moldova and Ukraine, as a result of the conversion of steppes to agricultural land combined with direct persecution. It is also adversely affected by power lines and is vulnerable to the impacts of potential wind energy developments. In addition, it is vulnerable to the veterinary drug diclofenac which is responsible for the decline of many vulture species. Photo © Sameer Sangawar (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Swift Parrot_Lathamus discolor

Previously Endangered, the Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolor) has been uplisted to Critically Endangered because population modelling predicts an extremely rapid decline due to nest predation by the introduced Sugar Glider (Petaurus breviceps) in its Tasmanian breeding range. On mainland Tasmania almost 79% nests were predated and 65% of adult females were killed by Sugar Gliders. Habitat loss and alteration are also thought to be contributing to declines. There is an urgent need for research to be conducted to determine methods of reducing Sugar Glider predation on Swift Parrot nests. Photo © Frank Wouters (CC BY 2.0)

Atlantic Puffin_Fratercula arctica

The iconic Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica) is declining across its European range and this previously Least Concern species has been reassessed as Vulnerable. This species is highly susceptible to the impacts of climate change, such as sea temperature rise and shifts in prey distribution and abundance. Other threats include the unsustainable exploitation of prey species, oil spills and other marine pollution, extreme weather events, invasive species at breeding colonies, and accidental capture in gillnets. Steps to slow or halt the population decline include further identification of important sites for this species, followed by designating these as marine protected areas, as well as management of fisheries to ensure long-term sustainability. Photo © Ondrej Pelánek

Bar-tailed Godwit_Limosa lapponica

The Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica) has an extremely large range and consists of several subpopulations using different flyways. Two subspecies, menzbieri and baueri, use the East Asian-Australasian Flyway and are both undergoing extremely rapid declines, probably owing to severe habitat loss in the Yellow Sea. As a result of severe declines in these populations, the species has been uplisted to Near Threatened (previously Least Concern). Development elsewhere in the species' range is also considered a threat to important habitat. Additonally, the species is susceptible to avian influenza so may be threatened by future outbreaks of the virus. Photo © Martin Pelánek


Geometric Tortoise_Psammobates geometricus

Last assessed in 1996 as Endangered, the Geometric Tortoise (Psammobates geometricus) has been assessed under the current version of the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria for the first time, and is now listed as Critically Endangered. This is considered to be a genuine deterioration in the status of this South African tortoise, with its long term population reduction now exceeding 80% in the past three generations (90 years). Extensive agricultural development (wine and wheat farming) has led to the irreversible alteration of over 90% of its habitat. Human settlement, invasive alien species, overgrazing by domestic stock, droughts and wildfires seriously threaten survival in remaining habitats. Photo © Atherton de Villiers

Leopard Tortoise_Stigmochelys pardalis

The Leopard Tortoise (Stigmochelys pardalis) is a widespread species which remains common in most places, and the threats are not considered to be severe enough to have caused any significant declines so far. It therefore enters the Red List as Least Concern. This tortoise occurs widely through the arid and savannah regions of eastern and southern Africa, from South Sudan and Somalia to Namibia and South Africa; it is generally absent from the humid forest regions of central Africa. Declines in some areas of East Africa have been attributed to unsustainable harvest for the pet trade. Photo © Bernard Dupont (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Loggerhead Turtle_Caretta caretta

The global population of the Loggerhead Turtle (Caretta caretta) comprises 10 subpopulations that vary widely in population size, geographic range, and trends, and each of these have also been assessed separately. The species as a whole has been assessed as Vulnerable, but the subpopulations vary from Least Concern (4 subpopulations), through Near Threatened (2 subpopulations), to Endangered (1 subpopulation) and Critically Endangered (3 subpopulations), with those at the highest risk being the North East Indian Ocean, North West Indian Ocean, and South Pacific subpopulations. Threats to Loggerheads vary in time and space, and in relative impact to populations, but overall the highest threat to Loggerheads globally is fisheries bycatch, followed by coastal development and human consumption of eggs, meat, or other products. Pollution, pathogens, and climate change are also significant threats but there is a lack of information on their effects. Photo © Angell Williams (CC BY 2.0)

Oceania Gecko_Gehyra oceanica

The Oceania Gecko (Gehyra oceanica) has been assessed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution and presumed large overall population. It is found throughout the Pacific, occurring on most islands in Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. It occurs in multiple protected areas and thrives in modified habitats. However, there are serious local threats to some populations – the population on Guam may be extirpated due to predation from the introduced Brown Tree Snake (Boiga irregularis) and this snake may also be a threat on other islands where it has been introduced. On atolls, sea level rise is a serious threat. Photo © Paddy Ryan

Crowned Forest Dragon_Hypsilurus dilophus

Found on New Guinea (both Indonesia and Papua New Guinea) and the Moluccan islands of Indonesia, the Crowned Forest Dragon (Hypsilurus dilophus) inhabits lowland and mid-montane primary and secondary rainforest. It is a wide ranging species and it is unlikely that any major threats are impacting it – as a result, it has been assessed as Least Concern. Although lowland rainforest habitat in Papua New Guinea is increasingly being deforested for logging and conversion to agriculture, this lizard remains widespread across the island and can persist in some modified habitats. Photo © O. Tallowin

Green Keel-bellied Lizard_Gastropholis prasina

Assessed for the first time this year, the Green Keel-bellied Lizard (Gastropholis prasina) enters the Red List as Near Threatened. Known from a limited number of localities scattered along the Eastern Arc and the coastal plain of Kenya and Tanzania, this lizard has an extent of occurrence slightly below 5,000 km², with a continuing decline in the extent and quality of its forest habitat due to agricultural expansion and population growth. However, much of its range lies within well-protected reserves and it is therefore not thought to be at immediate risk. This situation will change if pressures on the species increase. Photo © Torsten Kunsch (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Torniers Cat Snake_Crotaphopeltis tornieri

Another new addition to the Red List, Tornier's Cat Snake (Crotaphopeltis tornieri) is almost endemic to eastern and southern Tanzania, although it ranges marginally into northern Malawi. This forest-restricted species is regularly encountered, occurs widely in an area with significant forest cover remaining, and is found in several protected areas. Although its population trend is not certain, it is not thought to be declining fast enough to warrant listing in a threatened category. It has therefore been assessed as Least Concern. Increased protection is recommended for Mt. Rungwe, which hosts a genetically distinct subpopulation of this species and is not currently effectively protected. Photo © Stephen Zozaya


Hamiltons Frog_Leiopelma hamiltoni

Hamilton's Frog (Leiopelma hamiltoni) has been downlisted from Endangered to Vulnerable following a genuine improvement in its status. The only naturally occurring population of this nocturnal frog is confined to a single rock tumble (around 600 m²) on Stephens Island, New Zealand. When last assessed in 2004, the total population numbered less than 300 individuals – the historical population decline was largely driven by predation by non-native mammals, combined with deforestation. Individuals have been successfully translocated to a site on a nearby island, Nukuwaiata, and it appears to be establishing well. However, the population is still estimated to be under 1000 mature individuals, found in just two very small localities with several plausible threats which could have devastating effects if they occur. Photo © Paddy Ryan

Ishikawas Frog_Odorrana ishikawae

Found in Japan’s Ryukyu Islands, Ishikawa's Frog (Odorrana ishikawae) has undergone a change in taxonomic concept, as a population on Amami Island formerly identified as this species has been identified as a separate species named Odorrana splendida. This change means that the new concept of Odorrana ishikawae is endemic to Okinawa Island, with an area of occupancy estimated to be less than 150 km². Recent deforestation, along with road and dam constructions, has been causing reduction of the extent and quality of its habitat. Increasing road kills are also observed. Although the species is protected, these threats are continuing and therefore the species is listed as Endangered. Photo © MOEJ

Boophis quasiboehmei

Taxonomic changes in the Boophis genus have led to Boophis quasiboehmei being recognised as a valid species, having previously been considered to be a synonym of Boophis boehmei. It has therefore been assessed for the first time this year, and enters the Red List as Near Threatened. This frog occurs in southeast Madagascar. With an extent of occurrence of 14,995 km², its entire population is suspected to occur in forest patches between which there is little to no dispersal. It appears to be fairly tolerant of habitat degradation, however there are a number of threats to this species' habitat, including subsistence agriculture, timber extraction, charcoal manufacturing, invasive spread of eucalyptus, expanding human settlements, and the impact of artisanal mining. Photo © Carl Hutter

Striated Bush Frog_Raorchestes travancoricus

The Striated Bush Frog (Raorchestes travancoricus) was previously listed as Extinct, as it had not been seen since its original description in 1891. However, in 2004 it was rediscovered in an area 70 km northwest of the original collection site, and this south Indian frog is now listed as Endangered. Deforestation through conversion of land to agricultural use and urban development caused this species to disappear from Bodanaikanur, its type locality. Major threats to the species within its newly discovered distribution are extensive tea cultivation and emerging tourism activity, such as resort construction. It has recently been recorded in Periyar Tiger Reserve, but conservation of the unprotected sites where it occurs is urgently needed. Photo © Manoj P (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Scinax muriciensis

The recently described Scinax muriciensis is a species of Snouted Tree Frog which has been found in just one locality in the state of Alagoas, northeastern Brazil. Although it has not been searched for outside of the type locality, the species is thought to potentially be range-restricted, since the area where it is found has features that are rare in the state of Alagoas. Its forest habitat is in decline due to deforestation for the development of sugar-cane plantations, subsistence farming and pastures for cattle, and it is not considered to tolerate habitat disturbance as it appears to be dependent on water and dense canopy cover. This species enters the Red List as Critically Endangered. Photo © Marcelo G. De Lima

Hyperolius constellatus

Hyperolius constellatus is a Reed Frog species endemic to the Itombwe and Kabobo Plateaus (west of Lake Tanganyika) of the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is relatively abundant in suitable habitat, but its population is suspected to be in decline due to ongoing habitat loss, and as a result this species enters the Red List as Vulnerable. The ongoing, unmonitored deforestation is mainly as a result of agricultural activities (for crops and overgrazing by livestock), wood extraction, expanding human settlements, mineral concessions and illegal mining, and road construction. The two plateaus have both been known for their relatively large remaining tracts of montane forest, but neither area is under effective conservation protection. Photo © Eli Greenbaum

Leptobrachium leucops

All records of Leptobrachium leucops, an Eastern Spadefoot Toad species, are from protected areas, however the harvest of timber and non-timber forest products are likely to result in some habitat loss and modification, which is a potential threat to the species. Endemic to Viet Nam and described in 2011, this species is associated with montane evergreen cloud forest. The construction of a road through Bidoup-Nui Ba National Park may serve as a barrier to dispersal and is likely to increase habitat disturbance. Due to its relatively small extent of occurrence, presence in a small number of locations, and an ongoing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat, this species is assessed as Vulnerable. Photo © Jodi Rowley

Laos Knobby Newt_Tylototriton notialis

Currently the Laos Knobby Newt (Tylototriton notialis) is only known from two localities in mixed moist forest, one in eastern central Lao PDR and the other across the border in Viet Nam. Adults are found in both the terrestrial environment, including on the forest floor, rocks and logs, and the aquatic environment, in slow-flowing streams. Although both known sites are located within well-protected areas and have undergone relatively little habitat disturbance, it has been assessed as Vulnerable due to the restricted distribution and ongoing habitat loss outside the protected areas, where the species may also occur. Only eight individuals of the species have been recorded in literature. Related species are known to be popular in the pet trade and in traditional medicine, and this could be an additional threat. Photo © Bryan L. Stuart


Ocean Sunfish_Mola mola

The Ocean Sunfish (Mola mola) is the heaviest known bony fish species in the world. It is circumglobally distributed throughout warm and temperate zones of all oceans, between depths of 30 and 480 m, but usually between 30 and 70 m. Although it is targeted in some parts of its range, it is not a commercially important fish – however it is accidentally captured in large numbers as bycatch in long line, drift gillnet and midwater trawl fisheries, causing population declines. Bycatch estimates from the Californian swordfish fishery suggest Ocean Sunfish make up 29% of all bycatch; far outnumbering the target species. It enters the Red List as Vulnerable. Photo © mikethefifth (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Gray Triggerfish_Balistes capriscus

Assessed as Vulnerable, the Gray Triggerfish (Balistes capriscus) is widespread in the Atlantic Ocean, but is declining in the Gulf of Guinea, Gulf of Mexico and Brazil due to overexploitation. In these parts of its range, it is thought to have declined by 63-68% over three generation lengths; globally, declines over the same period are estimated to be over 30%. Until recently, it was not considered a desirable catch by most fishers; however, the decline in other reef fish stocks (e.g., red snapper and groupers) has probably caused an increased targeting of this and other under-utilized species. It is an important economic resource in the Gulf of Guinea. Photo © Robert Patzner

Splendid Toadfish_Sanopus splendidus

The Splendid Toadfish (Sanopus splendidus) is known from a limited number of specimens collected from caves under coral reefs in two locations: Isla Cozumel off Mexico and Glover's Reef off Belize. Its restricted area of occupancy (109 km²), combined with small number of locations and continuing decline in its coral habitats, qualify this species as Endangered. The combination of disturbance events and chronic stresses has caused an average decline in live coral cover of 41% over the past 42 years off Belize and a 13% decline off Cozumel over the past 27 years. Photo © Randall McNeely

Kissing Loach_Parabotia curtus

Previously Data Deficient, the Kissing Loach (Parabotia curtus) has been reassessed as Critically Endangered. The species only survives in three very small and isolated locations which are facing severe on-going and future threats. After natural flood plains disappeared, the species utilized rice paddies as spawning areas. However, paddy fields have largely been converted into housing or industrial areas, and in most areas, the agricultural schedule has changed and is now in conflict with the species’ phenology. As a result, only three spawning areas remain. There is a plan to construct a city park with a football stadium adjacent to the spawning and nursery ground of the species in Kameoka (the largest subpopulation). The spawning conditions for the other two subpopulations are currently maintained by intensive volunteer activities, which will be difficult to continue indefinitely. Due to the significant levels of human intervention required to support the species, it is on the cusp of being considered Extinct in the Wild. Photo © Tsukasa Abe (Okayama Freshwater Fish Society / Biodiversity Research Division, Lago)

Arabian Himri_Carasobarbus apoensis

The Arabian Himri (Carasobarbus apoensis) is a freshwater fish species which is endemic to Saudi Arabia. It is a relatively large species for the region, reaching up to 21 cm, and has become a popular game fish – although it can still be locally abundant, the removal of the largest specimens is adversely affecting its reproductive success. Further threats include habitat loss, water abstraction, and the impact of droughts, which reduce the extent and quality of available habitat, and make the species more susceptible to other existing threats. Although it is quite widespread, its distribution is fragmented and its area of occupancy is believed to be less than 500 km². This, combined with the decreasing area of available habitat, leads to its assessment as Endangered. Fieldwork in 2013 did not find the species despite visiting three out of six known locations. Photo © K. Borkenhagen and F. Krupp (CC BY 3.0)

Chain Moray_Echidna catenata

With a wide distribution in the western Atlantic, from Bermuda to southern Brazil, and no known major threats, the Chain Moray (Echidna catenata) is assessed as Least Concern. This demersal species is found dwelling solitarily among coral reef or along rocky shores and in sand, as well as in tide pools. It can withstand a lack of water for up to 30 minutes while hunting for prey. This species is occasionally locally caught and used for food. However, it is more popularly sold in the in the aquarium trade, although it is mostly considered uncommon in the aquarium trade. Photo © Atsme (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Peppermint Goby_Coryphopterus lipernes

Although widely distributed, the Peppermint Goby (Coryphopterus lipernes) is not common, and a population decline of over 30% is predicted over the next ten years mainly due to predation by the invasive Lionfish as well as a decline in its coral reef habitat. It has therefore been as assessed as Vulnerable. This species is easily targeted by the Lionfish given its small, shallow body and demersal habits. Both adults and juveniles of this species are probably consumed. Half of its range in the Gulf of Mexico is contained entirely within the Florida Keys National Sanctuary; however, conservation measures have not been successful in stopping coral reef decline, which was estimated as a 59% decline overall between 1970 and 2011 throughout the Caribbean. Photo © Laszlo Ilyes (CC BY 2.0)

High-hat_Pareques acuminatus

The High-hat (Pareques acuminatus) is a common species in many parts of its wide range, which covers a large area of the western Atlantic from North Carolina to southern Brazil. It occurs over sandy or muddy bottoms in coastal waters and near reef structure, to about 60 m depth. Reef sedimentation and degradation may represent a localized threat, and it could be susceptible to Lionfish predation. It is collected for the aquarium trade in many parts of its range, and is also caught as by-catch in artisanal trap fisheries. However, these are not major threats, and it is therefore assessed as Least Concern. Photo © Brian Gratwicke (CC BY-NC 2.0)


Mahe Boulder Cricket_Phalangacris alluaudi

As it had not been recorded since its original description in 1895, the Mahé Boulder Cricket (Phalangacris alluaudi) was assessed as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct). However, it was rediscovered in 2014 and has now been reassessed as Critically Endangered. This flightless cricket is endemic to Mahé island, Seychelles, where it has a severely fragmented population. It is found under large boulders and in caves in submontane and cloud forests, and currently seems to be mainly threatened by invasions of alien plants. Other possible threats are invasive animals, and droughts both affecting native plants and affecting the crickets directly. Photo © Axel Hochkirch

Yellow Bumblebee_Bombus fervidus

The Yellow Bumblebee (Bombus fervidus) is a widespread species across much of the mid-latitudes of North America, but is undergoing declines in abundance and persistence, and has been assessed as Vulnerable. If its relative abundance continues to decline at the same rate, it has been projected that it will go extinct in the next 70 to 80 years. It is unlikely that one threat explains the long-term decline trends observed, but the parasite Nosema bombi is known to spillover from managed bumblebees and may be implicated in declines. Open grassland habitats, old fields, and tallgrass habitats are probably the most suitable habitat types for this species, and these are of conservation concern and exist only in small remnants. Photo © Kent McFarland (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Yanbaru Long-armed Scarab Beetle_Cheirotonus jambar

The Yanbaru Long-armed Scarab Beetle (Cheirotonus jambar) is endemic to the northern part of Okinawa Island in the Ryukyu Islands of Japan. This beetle inhabits primeval forest and the number of individuals is dependent on the presence of large trees with cavities suitable for breeding (filled with a good layer of humus). Levels of deforestation are increasing, due to logging and dam construction, resulting in a population decline. Although protected, this species is also illegally collected for the pet trade, and construction of roads is providing easier access in to the forest for collectors. Based on these threats and its restricted distribution, this species enters the Red List as Endangered. Photo © Ministry of the Environment Japan (MOEJ)

Odd-spot Blue_Turanana taygetica

The Odd-spot Blue (Turanana taygetica) is a butterfly species endemic to the Mediterranean, where it is found in the mountains of Greece and Turkey. It occurs in dry, calcareous places covered with low-growing shrubs, and is frequently seen drinking nectar from flowers, especially thyme. It is a popular species with collectors in Greece and is also under threat from quarrying, tourism and changes in agricultural practices. This species enters the Red List as Near Threatened based on its restricted and fragmented population. Suitable habitats should be protected and appropriately managed, and the effects of these actions should be monitored by a butterfly monitoring scheme. Photo © Neil Thompson

Western Bumble Bee_Bombus occidentalis

Historically broadly distributed in western North America, the Western Bumble Bee (Bombus occidentalis) has experienced serious declines in relative abundance, persistence and range in recent years, with an average decline of 40% over the past decade. Based on this decline, this bumble bee enters the Red List as Vulnerable. Declining subpopulations have been associated with higher levels of the microsporidian Nosema bombi. Nosema bombi previously nearly wiped out all commercial hives and led to the end of commercial production of this species, which was once used for pollination of greenhouse tomatoes and other crops. In addition to disease, this species is also threatened by habitat loss and alteration, and direct mortality from insecticides. Photo © Rich Hatfield, Xerces Society (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Manus Green Tree Snail_Papustyla pulcherrima

The Manus Green Tree Snail (Papustyla pulcherrima) was the first invertebrate to be listed on the Endangered Species Act of the United States of America, as demand for its shell for jewellery raised concerns over its possible extinction. International trade in this species is now controlled but it still faces potential overexploitation from legal domestic trade. However at present, habitat destruction through forest clearance is the most significant threat to this species, which is native to Manus Island and Los Negros Island in Papua New Guinea. Protection of the remaining tract of primary forest on Manus Island is recommended to conserve this snail species. Previously assessed as Data Deficient, it is reassessed this year as Near Threatened based on new information. Photo © John Slapcinsky (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Giri Putri Cave Crab_Karstama balicum

The Giri Putri Cave Crab (Karstama balicum) is known from only a single cave on Nusa Penida in Bali. It is found on the muddy floor and lower walls of Giri Putri Cave where it shelters in small, wet drip pools in the floor and on clefts in the wall. The main threat to this species is the increasing use of the cave by pilgrims. When the species was first collected in 1994, infrastructure was minimal but now there are walkways, seating and electric lights. This species enters the Red List as Critically Endangered as the only known habitat is under imminent threat from increasing tourism. Cooperation of the temple authorities is required to conserve this species. Photo © Tony Whitten

Fat Anemone_Cribrinopsis crassa

The Fat Anemone (Cribrinopsis crassa) is characterised by short and thick tentacles. Mainly recorded from the western Mediterranean and the Adriatic, this species has recently been confirmed to occur in the Aegean Sea. The Fat Anemone typically lives in rocky holes, under stones and on sea grass meadows between depths of three and 100 m. There are no known widespread threats to the species and it occurs in several marine protected areas. Therefore, it is assessed for the first time this year as Least Concern. Photo © Christophe Quintin (CC BY-NC 2.0)


Many-flowered Grass-pink Orchid_Calopogon multiflorus

Assessed for the first time this year, Many-flowered Grass-pink Orchid (Calopogon multiflorus) enters the Red List as Least Concern. This beautiful orchid is widespread across the southeastern United States but the majority of its range is in Florida. A number of subpopulations have been lost, resulting in a decline in the range of this species, but it still occurs in around 60 sites overall. This orchid grows in dry mesic pine savannah, flatwood and dry prairie communities. It thrives with habitat disturbance from fire, and fire suppression – which is often associated with residential and commercial development – is the primary threat. Protection of known habitat and buffers areas around this habitat, to ensure the use of fire as a management tool, is recommended. Photo © NC Orchid (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Nohoanu_Geranium kauaiense

Endemic to Hawaii, Geranium kauaiense (known locally as Nohoanu) occurs in montane bogs on the island of Kauai from the Alakai Plateau to the Waialeale Summit. There are only 120 mature individuals of this species remaining in four severely fragmented subpopulations. Invasive species threaten this shrub and it is declining due to direct competition from invasive plant species, as well as due to grazing and habitat degradation caused by non-native pigs, goats and deer. Three of the four subpopulations now occur in fenced areas and benefit from ungulate exclusion and invasive species control. This species enters the Red List as Critically Endangered. Photo © Natalia Tangalin

Costus osae

Costus osae is used as an ornamental plant in gardens internationally and is also a crop wild relative of cultivated ornamental ‘spiral gingers’. However, the native range of this species is restricted to near the Osa Peninsula in southeastern Costa Rica. It has very specific habitat requirements and only occurs below steep rocky slopes and along banks of creeks and small rivers growing in rocky soil. Habitat loss due to conversion of land for agriculture is a threat to this species and only part of the population is in protected areas. With only 300-500 mature individuals known in the wild, this species enters the Red List as Vulnerable. Photo © Dave Skinner

Kimondromondro_Pachypodium brevicaule

Pachypodium brevicaule, known as Kimondromondro in Malagasy, is assessed for the first time this year. This herb is endemic to Madagascar where it grows in dry bushlands, woodlands and on inselbergs or rock faces in the Antananarivo and Fianarantsoa provinces. This species is collected for the horticulture trade and is threatened by illegal collection of plants. It is also under threat due to habitat loss caused by wildfire and mining. Facing these threats and with an area of occupancy of only 90 km², this species enters the Red List as Vulnerable. Photo © Mike Keeling (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Hennis Paphiopedilum_Paphiopedilum hennisianum

A new addition to the Red List, Hennis' Paphiopedilum (Paphiopedilum hennisianum) is a striking species of slipper orchid endemic to the Negros islands and Panay of the Philippines. This ornamental plant is in high demand and is traded domestically and internationally for horticulture. Local people are engaged in collection of this orchid from the wild for commercial traders, and this has resulted in a past, ongoing and projected population decline of up 80% in three generations. Based on this decline and its restricted distribution, this species enters the Red List as Endangered. Conservation measures, including monitoring and habitat management, are recommended for this species. Photo © Dalton Holland Baptista (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Franklin Tree_Franklinia alatamaha

Endemic to Georgia, the Franklin Tree (Franklinia alatamaha) has not been seen in the wild since 1803. Numerous expeditions to relocate the plant have failed. The exact reason for its extirpation in the wild is not known, but it is thought that burning and land clearance followed by subsequent flooding were contributing factors, along with over-collection to meet European horticultural demand in the 1700s. The species is grown in arboreta and botanic gardens worldwide and it is a popular garden plant. Previously assessed in 1998, it retains the category of Extinct in the Wild. Photo © Scott Zona (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Ehrenbergs Marjoram_Origanum ehrenbergii

Ehrenberg's Marjoram (Origanum ehrenbergii) grows on sandy soils in grassland and under pine forest on the western slopes of Mount Lebanon and South Lebanon Governorates. This subshrub has a fragmented distribution due to the naturally patchy habitat and also as a result of habitat loss due to agricultural, industrial, commercial and residential development, particularly near the Lebanese coast. It is used locally in food and traditional medicines but wild collection probably only has minor impacts on accessible subpopulations. Based on its restricted distribution and declines in habitat quantity and quality, this plant enters the Red List as Vulnerable. Photo © C. Hachem and H. Baroud - GEF-UNDP-LARI. 2013

Gentiana kurroo

Gentiana kurroo grows in subalpine and alpine meadows on open and exposed slopes of mountain ridges in Pakistan, India and Nepal. It has numerous medicinal uses and is collected from the wild for these. Unregulated harvesting is a major threat to this species and, in combination with habitat loss due to road construction, agricultural invasion and urbanisation, this has led to a 80% decline in the population over the past 10 years. Implementation of sustainable collection practices, trade regulations and habitat management strategies is recommended. Ex situ conservation and cultivation may help to reduce the pressure on the wild population. This species is assessed as for the first time as Critically Endangered. Photo © FRLHT

Star Magnolia

Assessed for the first time this year, the Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata) enters the Red List as Endangered. This small tree is endemic to the Tokai Floristic Region of Japan where it has a restricted extent of occurrence of 3,000 km². It is widely grown for ornamental purposes. However, illegal collection of individuals from the wild by horticulturists is threatening this species and causing a continuing decline in the number of mature individuals. Land development, leading to habitat degradation and loss, is also a major threat. The establishment of an in situ conservation programme for this species is urgently needed. Photo © Sheila Sund (CC BY 2.0)

Anisotes spectabilis

Anisotes spectabilis is a striking species endemic to Tanzania where it is found in the Nguru, Uluguru and Udzungwa Mountains. This shrub grows in wet submontane forest and habitat loss due to forest clearance is the primary threat. Most forest in the Uluguru Mountains below 2,000 m asl is severely threatened or already lost as it is not effectively protected, even within designated protected areas. The Nguru Mountain site is threatened by recent logging. Only one subpopulation of this species is secure. Due to these threats and the restricted range of this species, it enters the Red List as Endangered. Photo © Quentin Luke


Witches Cauldron_Sarcosoma globosum

Witches Cauldron (Sarcosoma globosum) is a well-known and conspicuous species with a circumpolar boreal and hemiboreal distribution. Its main stronghold is in Sweden but it is now extinct in some other European countries and is in decline throughout its range. It is a litter-decomposing terrestrial fungus which grows on nutrient-rich and well drained soils in old mossy stands dominated by Spruce. The main threat is habitat degradation through logging. This fungus disappears after clear-cutting and seems not to re-colonize the managed forests which replace the original habitat. Change in land management is the prime cause for the decline of just under 30% over the past 50 years and this decline is projected to continue. Therefore, Witches Cauldron is assessed as Near Threatened. Photo © tigglrep (CC BY 2.0)

Citrine Waxcap_Hygrocybe citrinovirens

An edible fungus, Citrine Waxcap (Hygrocybe citrinovirens) enters the Red List as Vulnerable. This large and conspicuous fungus is currently only known from the western Palearctic with its stronghold probably in northwest Europe. It is confined to seminatural, herb-rich grasslands and the population is decreasing in all countries of occurrence due to a lack of small-scale farming and traditional methods of grassland management. This decline is inferred to be 30%, but may actually be as high as 50%, over 50 years (three generations). Site protection and management of habitats are very important conservation actions for this species. Photo © Milan Zajac

Marsh Honey Fungus_Armillaria ectypa

Newly assessed as Near Threatened, Marsh Honey Fungus (Armillaria ectypa) is a rare Eurasian species. This fungus is confined to alkaline wetlands and is probably saprotrophic on decaying peat moss, sedges and presumably also reeds. Wetland sites are threatened by actions leading to changes in the hydrological regime, and alkaline fens - a Natura 2000 habitat - have been selectively drained in the past and are now very rare in most European Union countries. Degradation and loss of habitat has resulted in a population decline of 25% over the past 30 years (three generations) and this is suspected to continue. Conservation management should focus on maintaining the appropriate site hydrology of sites with known occurrences of this species. Photo © Tatyana Svetasheva

Leptonia carnea

Endemic to the Coast Redwood forests of California, Leptonia carnea is assessed for the first time this year. This terrestrial fungus is threatened by changes to and destruction of its Sequoia sempervirens forest habitat. Logging of coastal redwood forests has been occurring for a century. These forests are also now experiencing drought stress due to decreased summer fog and irregular winter rains. Protection of these forests from logging and curbing of carbon emissions is recommended. This fungus is assessed as Vulnerable, as there are under 2,500 mature individuals of this species remaining with under 500 in each subpopulation. Photo © Christian Schwarzz

Starry Breck Lichen_Buellia asterella

Starry Breck Lichen (Buellia asterella) used to occur in isolated patches of dry grassland from Italy to England and southern Norway. Today it is thought to be extinct in all but three or four localities globally (in Norway and Germany). This lichen is very vulnerable to the impacts of habitat changes and destruction, and most previous sites have been completely converted either to suburban developments or to agriculture. Additionally, its grassland habitats are popular sites for recreation and therefore, trampling by tourists is also a threat. Based on an estimated 80% population decline between 1950 and 2040, this species enters the Red List as Critically Endangered. Photo © Einar Timdal