Our January 2021 issue focuses on species assessments across a wide range of taxa, including mammals, amphibians and reptiles. It is accompanied by Jon Paul Rodriguez’s Editorial on Reverse the Red as well as a Briefly spotlight on updates to the IUCN assessment of species of maple trees, koalas, orchids and more!

Find out more about our first fully open access issue, including our Editor’s picks, below:

Species assessments

  • Review of the status and conservation of tenrecs (Mammalia: Afrotheria: Tenrecidae) – Stephenson et al. (see blog post)
  • What is driving declines of montane endemic amphibians? New insights from Mount Bamboutos, Cameroon – Tchassem F. et al (see blog post)
  • Estimating leopard density across the highly modified human-dominated landscape of the Western Cape, South Africa – Devens et al. (see blog post)
  • First country-wide survey of the Endangered Asian elephant: towards better conservation and management in Sri Lanka – Fernando et al.
  • Counting Sunda clouded leopards with confidence: incorporating individual heterogeneity in density estimates – Mohamed et al.
  • Population assessment of the Endangered Nilgiri tahr Nilgiritragus hylocrius in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve, using the double-observer survey method – Suryawanshi et al. (see blog post)
  • On the future of the giant South American river turtle Podocnemis expansaForero-Medina et al. (see blog post)
  • Estimating population parameters for the Critically Endangered Bermuda skink using robust design capture–mark–recapture modelling – Turner et al.

Behind the cover

The mammal family Tenrecidae is endemic to Madagascar. Conservation priorities for the 31 species of tenrec assessed or reassessed for the IUCN Red List finds that six species are threatened and one is Data Deficient. The primary threat to tenrecs is habitat loss, mostly as a result of slash-and-burn agriculture, but some species are also threatened by hunting and incidental capture in fishing traps. In the longer term, climate change is expected to alter tenrec habitats and ranges. The lack of data for most tenrecs, together with frequent changes in taxonomy and the poorly understood impact of bushmeat hunting on spiny species (such as the lowland streaked tenrec Hemicentetes semispinosus, pictured), hinders conservation planning. For further details, click here. (Photograph © Reptiles4all/Shutterstock)

Editorial Reverse the Red: achieving global biodiversity targets at national level by J.P. Rodríguez

‘A new strategy—Reverse the Red—aims to mobilize local action in response to global priorities. It is a global movement to ignite strategic cooperation and action to ensure the survival of wild species and ecosystems. Led by the Species Survival Commission, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, Smithsonian Institution Earth Optimism, On the Edge Conservation, and San Diego Zoo Global, and working in close collaboration with 18 additional partners, Reverse the Red will be launched at the next IUCN World Conservation Congress. Reverse the Red builds on existing capacity to develop national hubs in support of national strategies to meet commitments to biodiversity conventions such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, CITES, and the Convention on Migratory Species.’

A Dobson’s shrew tenrec (left) and a lesser hedgehog tenrec (right). As their common names suggest, these species look like mammals filling similar niches in other parts of the world. Photos: PJ Stephenson. Read the full blog post here.

Editor’s picks

  • Rangers can’t be with every elephant: assessing rangers’ perceptions of a community, problem-solving policing model for protected areas – Moreto & Charlton (see blog post)
  • Potential ecological and socio-economic effects of a novel megaherbivore introduction: the hippopotamus in Colombia – Subalusky et al.
  • The impact of the Endangered Mauritian flying fox Pteropus niger on commercial fruit farms and the efficacy of mitigation – Oleksy et al.
  • Black rhinoceros avoidance of tourist infrastructure and activity: planning and managing for coexistence – Muntifering et al.

Conservation News

  • Ship sturgeon rediscovered in the Rioni River in Georgia – Beridze et al.
  • Status of Cassine koordersii, a tree endemic to East Java and last collected in 1898 – Robiansyah et al.
  • Threats to an undescribed songbird species in Indonesia – O’Connell et al.
  • Saving the Tapanuli orangutan requires zero losses – Wich & Meijaard
  • Tourism development projects and nature loss on Xuedou Mountain, China – Li et al.

Emma joined the Oryx team in 2018, having previously completed a BSc in Geography at the University of Sussex and an MSc in Conservation Science at Imperial College London. She has a keen interest in marine conservation and has experience working on sea turtle, coral reef, and tropical fish monitoring projects. Her previous research includes an ethological study on the impact of human enrichment on the welfare of captive giant Pacific octopus, and an investigation into the barriers to increased conservation involvement in European zoos.