2016 Photo Gallery




As the world’s tallest land mammal, the Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) is a well-known charismatic giant. However, it is less well-known that habitat loss, civil unrest, illegal hunting and ecological changes have taken their toll on the Giraffe. The combination of these threats have caused a decline in the global Giraffe population of 36-40% over the last 30 years (1985-2015), pushing the Giraffe into a threatened category for the first time since it was first assessed in 1996; the species was uplisted from Least Concern (LC) to Vulnerable (VU) in 2016. Photo © IUCN Photo Library © Alicia Wirz

Eastern Gorilla_Gorilla beringei

Four out of six of the great ape species are now Critically Endangered, after the Eastern Gorilla (Gorilla beringei) was uplisted from Endangered to Critically Endangered in 2016 due to an ongoing population decline. If this continues unabated, around 93% of Eastern Gorillas will be gone by 2054. There are two subspecies of Eastern Gorilla: Mountain Gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) and Grauer's Gorilla (Gorilla beringei graueri). Mountain Gorilla has been assessed as Critically Endangered since 1996 but its population is now recovering; however this recovery is outweighed by the very steep decline in numbers of Bauer’s Gorilla. The major threats are poaching, habitat loss and degradation, civil unrest, disease, and climate change. Photo © Intu Boedhihartono

Ornithorhynchus anatinus

One of the world's most unusual looking mammals, the Duck-billed Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) was uplisted from Least Concern (LC) to Near Threatened (NT) in 2016. This semiaquatic egg-laying mammal is endemic to Australia, where it is dependent on rivers, streams, and freshwater bodies. Recent droughts, stream regulation, water extraction, habitat modification, degradation in water quality, predation by invasive species, and effects of climate change are all putting pressure on this species. Overall, its population has declined by nearly 30% over the last 27-36 years. Photo © Sharon Wormleaton

Giant Panda_Ailuropoda melanoleuca

Previously listed as Endangered, the Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) has now been reassessed as Vulnerable, as its population has grown due to effective forest protection and reforestation. The improved status confirms that the Chinese government's efforts to conserve this species are effective. However, climate change is predicted to eliminate more than 35% of the Panda's bamboo habitat in the next 80 years and thus the population is projected to decline again, reversing the gains made during the last two decades. To protect this iconic species, it is critical that the effective forest protection measures are continued and that emerging threats are addressed. The Chinese government's plan to expand existing conservation policy for the species is a positive step and must be strongly supported to ensure its effective implementation. Photo © Martha de Jong-Lantink (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Plains Zebra_Equus quagga

The Plains Zebra (Equus quagga) has undergone a population reduction in 10 out of its 17 range states since 1992, with the overall decline over this time period estimated as 25%. As a result it has been uplisted from Least Concern to Near Threatened. In many countries Plains Zebra are only found in protected areas, with few or no individuals outside them. Lack of surveys outside protected areas makes assessing trends and population sizes difficult across most of the species’ range, but for a species that is considered common and widespread the observed decline is worrying. Photo © Jean-Christophe Vié

Bramble Cay Melomys_Melomys rubicola

Bramble Cay Melomys (Melomys rubicola) has now been declared Extinct, and will go down in history as the first mammal known to have been wiped out by human-induced climate change. This humble species was known only from a small island (of only five hectares) in the Great Barrier Reef, and the opportunity to prevent its extinction was missed, as the recommended conservation action to develop a captive breeding and retintroduction programme was not actioned. It is likely that its decline occurred due directly to storm surges across the entire island (killing individuals) and/or due to ongoing and episodic reduction in vegetation (probably also due to storm surge). Photo © Ian Bell

Tibetan Antelope_Pantholops hodgsonii

Due to successful conservation actions, the Tibetan Antelope (Pantholops hodgsonii) has moved from Endangered to Near Threatened. The population underwent a severe decline from around one million to an estimated 65,000-72,500 in the 1980s and early 1990s. This was the result of commercial poaching for the valuable underfur – shahtoosh – which is used to make shawls. It takes 3-5 hides to make a single shawl, and as the wool cannot be sheared or combed, the animals are killed. Rigorous protection has been enforced since then, and the population is currently likely to be between 100,000 and 150,000. Photo © ahsup (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Bornean Yellow Muntjac_Muntiacus atherodes

Found throughout the island of Borneo, the Bornean Yellow Muntjac (Muntiacus atherodes) is often common, but its population is declining to the extent that it is now listed as Near Threatened (previously Least Concern). The major threats are hunting for meat, skins, and traditional remedies, and logging, which not only destroys its forest habitat but provides easier access for hunting to occur. It is not certain whether the species can persist in plantation landscapes of oil palm, rubber, acacia and others - research to clarify this is needed to assess its conservation priorities. Photo © Smithsonian Wild (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Greater Stick-nest Rat_Leporillus conditor

The Greater Stick-nest Rat (Leporillus conditor), which is endemic to Australia, has improved in status, moving from Vulnerable to Near Threatened. This is due to a successful species recovery plan, which has involved reintroductions and introductions to predator-free areas. This unique nest-building rodent is the last of its kind, with its smaller relative the Lesser Stick-nest Rat (Leporillus apicalis) having died out in the Twentieth Century. The resin created by the rats to build their nests is so strong that they can last for thousands of years if they are not exposed to water. Photo © HJ Aslin (photographer), Mammal Image Library, American Society of Mammalogists

Phascolarctos cinereus

Listed as Least Concern (LC) in 2008, the Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) was uplisted to Vulnerable (VU) in 2016. Although its status has been contested due to uncertainty and variation in population trends across its range, overall it has declined by about 28% over the last 18-24 years. Current threats include habitat loss and modification, bushfires, disease, and drought. The additional threat from climate change is expected to increase the rate of population decline for the Koala over the next 20-30 years. Photo © VisionAiry Photography

Petaurus australis

The Yellow-bellied Glider (Petaurus australis) occurs in eucalypt-dominated forests and woodlands in eastern Australia. This charismatic gliding possum was uplisted from Least Concern (LC) to Near Threatened (NT) in 2016, bsaed on a population decline approaching 30% over 14 years. These declines have been caused by recent increases in land clearing in the Queensland area, and continuing decline in habitat quality through inappropriate fire regimes and logging. Photo © 2016 David Cook Wildlife Photography. All Rights Reserved.

Petauroides volans

Endemic to eastern Australia, the Greater Gliding Possum (Petauroides volans), was uplisted from Least Concern (LC) to Vulnerable (VU) in 2016. This arboreal marsupial is largely restricted to eucalypt forests and woodlands and needs large, older trees with hollows for shelter. Land clearing for agriculture, logging, and bushfires have had a serious effect on this species, and recent monitoring results show that the population is declining. It is suspected that the population has declined by >30% over the last 22 years. Photo © 2016 David Cook Wildlife Photography. All Rights Reserved.


Grey Parrot_Psittacus erithacus

One of the most popular avian pets in Europe, the United States, and the Middle East due to its longevity and unparalleled ability to mimic human speech, the Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus) was uplisted from Vulnerable (VU) to Endangered (EN) in 2016 after analyses of wildlife trade patterns for this species revealed that over 1.3 million wild-caught individuals entered international trade from 1982 to 2001; with pre-trade mortality of 30-66% the true number of wild birds taken is likely to be larger than this estimate. International trade is clearly a significant threat to the global population, and is estimated to have caused a decline of at least 50% over the last 47 years (1969-2016). Photo © Rob. CC BY-NC 2.0

Montserrat Oriole_Icterus oberi

Inhabiting an extremely small area on the island of Montserrat, and previously threatened by the aftermath of volcanic activity in 1995-1997, the Montserrat Oriole (Icterus oberi) was entered the highest threatened category of Critically Endangered (CR) in 2000. In 2016 the species was downlisted to Vulnerable (VU) thanks to the significant positive progress of targeted conservation work on the island. This work has helped this previously declining species to stabilise and it is now showing signs of potentially increasing. Photo ©  D. McCoy

Azores Bullfinch_Pyrrhula murina

The Azores Bullfinch (Pyrrhula murina) is endemic to the Azores (Portugal) where it is confined to the east of the island of São Miguel. Formally assessed as Endangered (EN) due to its restricted range and declining habitat, conservation efforts—including creation of fruit tree orchards, clearance of invasive plant species and replanting with native species—have successfully halted the decline of this bird. Its population is now considered stable, although small (estimated as less than 2,000 mature individuals in 2016), and in 2016 the species was downlisted to Vulnerable (VU). Photo © Mark Putney


Erythrolamprus ornatus_Saint Lucia racer

Introduction of mongoose in 1869, combined with pressures from other invasive species and conversion of forest habitats to sugar plantations and urbanization, caused the disappearance of Ornate Ground Snake (Erythrolamprus ornatus) from Saint Lucia. It was believed to be Extinct until its rediscovery on Maria Major island in 1973. Although already assessed as Endangered (EN) in 1996 its status has deteriorated further since then. In 2016 the entire global population was estimated to be less than 50 mature individuals, prompting its uplisting to Critically Endangered (CR). Its continued survival is wholly dependent on conservation management to keep Maria Major free of invasive species that would rapidly drive the Ornate Ground Snake to extinction. Photo © Gregory Guida

Liolaemus chiliensis

Known from the Southern Coquimbo Region to Los Lagon Region in Chile, and Río Negro and Neuquen provinces in Argentina, the Chilean Tree Iguana (Liolaemus chiliensis) makes its debut onto The IUCN Red List. In Chile localized threats come from agricultural expansion, including Eucalyptus and Pinus plantations. However, its wide range and its ability to persist in low densities, even in plantations, means that currently there are no major threats likely to affect the global population. It is listed as Least Concern (LC). Photo © Tebo Lôpez

Acanthochelys pallidipectoris

The Chaco Side-necked Turtle (Acanthochelys pallidipectoris) is a small freshwater turtle found only in the arid parts of the Gran Chaco (Argentina, Paraguay and Bolivia), where it is restricted to temporarily flooded areas. It moves from Vulnerable (VU) to Endangered (EN) because the population has declined by >50% within the last 45 years and the small remaining population continues to decline. Habitat loss and degradation from deforestation and expanding agriculture, ongoing illegal collection for the international pet trade, and competition and predation from other species are the main causes of its decline. Photo © Thomas and Sabine Vinke


Rhincodon typus

The Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus), famous for being a slow moving giant of the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific Oceans. This update highlights the ongoing plight of this charismatic shark as it is uplisted from Vulnerable (VU) to Endangered (EN). Directed fisheries and significant bycatch fisheries have targeted areas where high densities of Whale Sharks occur, leading to rapid population reductions. Exploitation and death through ship strikes has caused a more than 50% decline in the past 75 years and this is likely to continue.  Photo © C.Mckain (CC BY 2.0)

Photo of Filicampus tigris near Port Stephens, New South Wales. Taken on June 8th, 2009.

The Tiger Pipefish (Filicampus tigris inhabits the coasts of Australia occurring in Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland. Although threatened by the loss of seagrass habitat it is able to utilize other habitat types and faces minimal threats in those habitats and has therefore been assessed as Least Concern (LC). Photo © Richard Ling


Nyungwe Junglewatcher_Neodythemis nyungwe

The Nyungwe Junglewatcher (Neodythemis nyungwe) currently is known to exist only within Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda. This dragonfly is totally dependent on the protection offered by Nyungwe National Park as all other potential habitats in the area have been deforested. In 2016 it was uplisted from Near Threatened (NT) to Vulnerable (VU) as a single threat event such as severe drought, pollution, building activities or water extraction could very rapidly lead to the extinction of this species. Photo ©  André Günther

Agriocnemis palaeforma_Papyrus Wisp

The Papyrus Wisp (Agriocnemis palaeforma) is a damselfly typically found in Ugandan and Rwandan papyrus swamps that are clean, and fast flowing. Since its previous assessment in 2008 (Near Threatened (NT)), the swamp habitat this species relies on has continued to be destroyed and degraded by a range of activities including construction of buildings and roads, agriculture, and pollution. Since it is a habitat specialist and its remaining habitat is dwindling, the population is very fragmented, occupying an area of less than 200 km². The Papyrus Wisp has consequently been uplisted to Vulnerable (VU). Photo © Viola Clausnitzer

European Mantis - Europäische Gottesanbeterin (Mantis religiosa) ♀, image captured on 2008:08:30 18:53:23 in Büchelberg, Germany

The European Mantis (Mantis religiosa) is one of the most common mantis species, but it is not easy to observe in nature due to its cryptic behaviour and occurrence in small localized subpopulations. Given its wide distribution range and apparent lack of any major threats, the European Mantis has been classified as Least Concern (LC). This species, however, has specific ecological needs and any habitat reduction or degradation and direct killing may threaten some of the small localized subpopulations. Photo © Walter Layher 2008

Sphingonotus nodulosus

With only four severely fragmented subpopulations which are in decline due to recent and ongoing tourist developments, the Knotty Sand Grasshopper (Sphingonotus nodulosus) has been assessed as Endangered (EN). Conservation action to protect the habitat of this species is urgently needed.  Photo © Paulo Lemos

Poecilimon pindos

The Pindos Bright Bush-cricket (Poecilimon pindos) is assessed for the first time for The IUCN Red List and has been listed as Endangered (EN), due to its very restricted distribution (being found only on three high mountains in the Pindos mountain range of Greece) and declines in the quality of the habitat due to the impacts of livestock grazing and tourist developments. Detailed information about the species is lacking and research is needed to investigate the population size and trend as well as the threats to the species.  Photo © Florin Rutschmann


Spring Wild Oat_Avena fatua

Spring Wild Oat (Avena fatua) is the primary genetic relative of the Oat (Avena sativa) crop plant normally seen growing in agriculture. Crop wild relatives such as this are vital to human health and nutrition as they are potential gene donors and can be used to improve crop yield, health and resilience. Spring Wild Oat has an extremely widespread distribution across Europe, temperate Asia, India, Nepal and Pakistan in tropical Asia and North Africa and grows in a wide range of habitats including within field crops, on waste ground, along disturbed river banks, highways, railroad tracks, etc. There are no major threats affecting the species, therefore it is assessed as Least Concern (LC). Photo © Stephane

Eryngium fluminense

Along with 19 other Brazilian plants, the original assessment for Eryngium fluminense is written and published on The IUCN Red List (version 2016-3) in Portuguese, marking the start of non-English language assessments being included on The IUCN Red List.

A espécie foi encontrada no Parque Nacional da Serra dos Órgãos e no Parque Estadual dos Três Picos, estritamente em locais de Campos de Altitude, nas localidades de Cachoeira do Rancho Fino, Morro Açu, Pico Menor e Pico da Caledônia. Coletas recentes apontam que a espécie é frequente no Pico da Caledônia (P.E. Três Picos), entretanto apresenta uma área de ocupação restrita de 16 km² e está sujeita a quatro situações de ameaça. As ameaças incidentes são os incêndios florestais, invasão de espécies exóticas e os impactos causados pelo turismo e recreação, a expansão urbana e comercial e o aumento da frequência e/ou intensidade das queimadas. Eryngium fluminense entrou na Lista Vermelha da UICN como Vulnerável (VU) em 2016.

[This species is found in Serra dos Órgãos National Park and Three Peaks State Park (Brazil). Recent collections have shown that despite this species being frequently encountered around the Caledonia Peak (e.g., at Three Peaks), it has a restricted area of occupancy (16 km²) and is restricted to just four locations. With potential threats from forest fires, invasive species, and impacts from tourism and recreation, urban and commercial expansion, and increased frequency and/or intensity of fires, Eryngium fluminense entered The IUCN Red List as Vulnerable (VU) in 2016.] Photo © Miloslav Studnicka

'Ohe kiko'ola_Polyscias waimeae

Found only in wet forest on the island of Kau’i, 'Ohe kiko'ola (Polyscias waimeae) enters the Red List as Endangered. In common with many other Hawaiian plants, major threats to this plant include predation and habitat degradation by non-­native animals, particularly pigs, goats, deer and rats. Non-native, invasive plant taxa are also a major threat, as they displace the taxon and significantly alter the native habitat upon which it depends. In addition, the species is considered extremely vulnerable to climate change. Photo © Jesse Adams

Haha_Cyanea remyi

There are only 46 individuals of the Haha plant Cyanea remyi remaining, and it is therefore assessed as Critically Endangered. This shrub is found in Hawaiian lowland wet forest on the island of Kau’i. As with other Hawaiian plant species, competition with introduced invasive plant species is a major threat, as is habitat degradation and direct damage by invasive animals. Seed dispersal cycles have also been greatly reduced due to the drastic decline of endemic avian fauna. In addition, the taxon is also threatened by floods and landslides since it grows in areas subject to such stochastic events.  Photo © Natalia Tangalin

Alula_Brighamia insignis

Alula (Brighamia insignis) has moved from Critically Endangered to Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct in the Wild), and is one of 38 Red Listed Hawaiian plant species with less than five wild individuals remaining. The Alula has been so impacted by invasive species and landslides, that only one plant remained in the wild in 2014 and it has not been seen since. Historically it occurred on the islands of Kaua’i and Ni’ihau, but it has not been reported from Ni’ihau since 1947. There are active conservation efforts focused on the species, which has surviving individuals in cultivation. The National Tropical Botanic Garden has outplanted over a hundred individuals at the Limahuli Garden and Preserve on the north shore of Kaua‘i. Outplantings were also done at the Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge on the northeast coast of Kaua‘i by the Department of Land and Natural Resources and volunteers in 1995. The Kīlauea Point outplanting, however, was not self-sustaining and all of those planted have since died. None of the outplantings have ever produced viable offspring without intense human intervention. Photo © Daderot (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Hibiscadelphus woodii

Hibiscadelphus woodii is one of 38 Hawaiian plant species now assessed as Extinct. It was only known from four individuals when it was first seen in 1991. It was last recorded in the wild in 1999 and the last remaining individual was observed to have died by August 2011. Its extinction was due to a variety of threats but especially the impacts of non-native plants and animals and probably human vandalism of the last remaining plant. Although cuttings and seeds were collected, propagation was not successful and so there are no specimens in cultivation. All known species in this genus are either Extinct or Critically Endangered. Photo © K.R. Wood / NTBG

Cyanea kuhihewa, flowering stem. Kaua'i, Limahuli Valley, 17.vi.1997, D. Lorence 8010 (PTBG)

Cyanea kuhihewa, known more commonly as the Haha is historically known from the Hawaiian Islands. Although gifted with an amusing name, its Red List status is sadly not a laughing matter with the species last seen in the wild in 2003, resulting in its listing as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct in the Wild) (CR (PEW)). Prior to 2003, seeds were collected for storage in a seedbank, however, these were susbsequently found to be non-viable. The last hope for this species lies in searching the remaining remnants of potentially suitable habitat which occur in remote areas but which are extremely steep and difficult to access.  Photo © David H. Lorence

Lingonberry in old stump

The Lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaeais a widespread circumboreal species, found throughout northern Europe, Asia and North America. Whilst it is possibly declining in parts of its range due to habitat loss, it is not thought to be declining fast enough to meet (or to be close to meeting) any of the thresholds necessary to be listed as threatened, it is therefore assessed as Least Concern (LC). Photo © Sonja Marit Syversen

Magnolia jardinensis

Known only from the Western mountain range in the department of Antioquia in the municipality of Jardin, Colombia, the population of Magnolia jardinensis is estimated to be less that 50 individuals resulting in an uplisting from Endangered (EN) to Critically Endangered (CR). The main driver of the decline is selective logging of the tree and general clearance and fragmentation of its habitat. Photo © BGCI

Gumwood (Commidendrum robustum), Peak Dale, St Helena

In 2003 the Gumwood (Commidendrum robustum) was estimated to have a population of 1,000 individuals, this reassessment finds that less 700 now exist. The population decline is due to a combination of habitat degradation, poor regeneration and competition from invasive species. In addition, the population is also now considered to be severely fragmented triggering the species to be uplisted from Endangered (EN) to Critically Endangered (CR). Photo © P. Lambdon, 2010