The September 2023 issue has a focus on our partnership with the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC), a collaboration established to encourage SSC members to publish their conservation research. The special section features 10 articles on work carried out by SSC members, covering a breadth of topics from green turtle nesting in the South Pacific to population monitoring of the Critically Endangered hangul deer in Kashmir.

In the lead article, Steve Goodman provides updated estimates of species diversity in the biodiversity hotspot of Madagascar, highlighting an increase in the number of Malagasy researchers undertaking field studies and the progress made in understanding and protecting the country’s marine and terrestrial biodiversity over the past 2 decades. The editorial, by Jon Paul Rodriguez and Martin Fisher, introduces this collection of SSC-authored articles within the Commission’s conceptual framework, the Species Conservation Cycle, and invites conservationists from this expanding network to continue submitting their work to the journal.

The issue also includes a host of Conservation News articles, book reviews and Briefly! Find out more about this issue’s content, including our Editor’s picks, below.

An orangutan on its way through the forest canopy.

An orangutan on its way through the forest canopy. Photo: Nardiyono. Read Erik Meijaard’s blog here.

Assessment, Planning, Action

  • Updated estimates of biotic diversity and endemism for Madagascar—revisited after 20 years – Goodman
  • Restoring the orangutan in a Whole- or Half-Earth context – Meijaard et al. (blog post here)
  • High readership on academic social platforms could poorly reflect conservation interest – Meijaard & Moqanaki
  • New records of the Endangered Helan Shan pika Ochotona argentata, with notes on its natural history and conservation – Lambert et al.
  • Is the hangul Cervus hanglu hanglu in Kashmir drifting towards extinction? Evidence from 19 years of monitoring – Ahmad et al. (blog post here)
  • Predicting suitable habitat for the Critically Endangered African wild ass Equus africanus in the Danakil Desert of Eritrea – Tesfai et al.
  • The potential conservation value of anthropogenically modified habitat for the Endangered moor macaque Macaca maura in Sulawesi, Indonesia – Riley et al. (blog post here)
  • Cheetahs persist in the wild in the remote Awdal region of Somaliland – Marker et al. (blog post here)
  • Human–wildlife conflicts in Patagonia: ranchers’ perceptions of guanaco Lama guanicoe abundance – Flores et al.
  • From terra incognita to hotspot: the largest South Pacific green turtle nesting population in the forgotten reefs of New Caledonia – Fretey et al.
An adult male hangul (left) and Dr. Khursheed Ahamad and co-author Parag Nigam fitting a satellite collar on a hangul (right).

An adult male hangul (left) and Dr. Khursheed Ahamad and co-author Parag Nigam fitting a satellite collar on a hangul (right). Photos: Dhritiman Mukherjee & Khursheed Ahmad (right). Read the blog here.

Behind the cover

The terrestrial and marine biotypes of Madagascar are critical priorities for conservation, with almost unparalleled levels of endemism, species diversity and human threat for a land area of its size. Field inventories and molecular-based research conducted from the mid 1980s to the present have greatly expanded knowledge of the country’s biota, for some groups with nearly exponential growth in measures of species diversity. One well-known species endemic to the country is the day-flying Malagasy sunset moth Chrysiridia rhipheus (pictured). Approximately 490 species of Lepidoptera have been described since 2003, with c. 4,500 of the total of c. 6,000 species (90%) being endemic. For newly revised estimates of species richness and endemism for a range of taxonomic groups, see Steven Goodman’s article (Photograph © Mark Brandon/Shutterstock).

A Malagasy sunset moth Chrysiridia rhipheus. Photo credit: Mark Brandon/Shutterstock

Editorial

Assessment, planning and action for species conservationJon Paul Rodriguez & Martin Fisher

The September editorial, co-authored by the Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, Jon Paul Rodriguez, outlines the mission of the SSC, a network of approximately 10,000 volunteer experts from around the world. Drawing on the key themes of the 10 SSC supported articles in this issue, Rodriguez and Fisher highlight the success of the IUCN SSC–Oryx Partnership fund and emphasize their enthusiasm to continue this fruitful collaboration.

‘The SSC–Oryx partnership has undoubtedly been successful and this collection of articles displays the valuable contributions of the SSC network to conservation. But many gaps remain, and many stories still need to be told. We look forward to seeing more articles on aquatic species, invertebrates, fungi and plants, and on cross-cutting issues such as invasive species, climate change, conservation genetics, conservation planning, species monitoring and wildlife health.’

Adult female moor macaque Macaca maura with nursing infant, Bantimurung Bulusaraung National Park, Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Adult female moor macaque Macaca maura with an infant in Bantimurung Bulusaraung National Park, Sulawesi, Indonesia. Photo: Iskandar Kamaruddin. Read Erin Reilly’s blog here.

Editor’s picks

  1. High readership on academic social platforms could poorly reflect conservation interest – Meijaard & Moqanaki
  2. From terra incognita to hotspot: the largest South Pacific green turtle nesting population in the forgotten reefs of New Caledonia – Fretey et al.
  3. On the road to self-sustainability: reintroduced migratory European northern bald ibises Geronticus eremita still need management interventions for population viability – Drenske et al. (blog post here)
  4. Recent jaguar records confirm the conservation value of the Baritú–Tariquía corridor between Argentina and Bolivia – Caruso et al. (blog post here)
Human-led northern bald ibis migration over Tuscany. Photo: Helena Wehner

Human-led northern bald ibis migration over Tuscany. Photo: Helena Wehner. Find out more in the blog.

Other content

  • The mitochondrial DNA diversity of captive ruffed lemurs (Varecia ): implications for conservation – Vega et al.
  • Population parameters, performance and insights into factors influencing the reproduction of the black rhinoceros Diceros bicornis in Namibia – Muntifering et al.
  • First record of the bush dog Speothos venaticus in the Atlantic Forest of Minas Gerais, Brazil – Soto-Werschwitz et al. (blog post here)
Two camera-trap photographs of the bush dog in Brazil.

Two camera-trap photographs of the bush dog Speothos venaticus in Brazil. Find out more in Alejandra Soto-Werschitz’s blog.

Conservation news

  • Two Centers for Species Survival launch collaborative conservation programmes – Alvarex-Clare et al.
  • Ten-year update of IUCN Red List assessments for tunas, mackerels and billfishes – Collette et al.
  • Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group launches its Species Use Database – Hoffman & Roe
  • IUCN launches Behaviour Change Task Force – Veríssimo & Pinho
  • New toolkit for Nature-Positive Enterprise development – Hughes et al.
  • The Whitley Awards 2023 – Law
  • Another Indonesian songbird on the brink of extinction: is it too late for the Kangean shama – Berryman
  • Reintroduction of adult Orinoco crocodiles: a crucial step towards the species’ recovery – Vargas-Ramírez et al.
  • Developing a national conservation action plan for threatened trees of Guinea – Couch et al.
  • A new record of the Critically Endangered tree Dipterocarpus littoralis discovered from social media – Primananda & Robiansyah
  • Successful ex situ conservation of Nymphaea candidaLiu et al.
  • Snow Leopard Network: 20 years of collaboration among practitioners – Alexander et al.
Left: Community members confirming that they had heard of cheetahs in the region. Right: One of a couple of potential cheetah scrapes found near a reported cheetah sighting.

Left: Community members confirming that they had heard of cheetahs in the Adwal region of Somaliland. Right: One of a couple of potential cheetah scrapes found near a reported cheetah sighting. Photos: Cheetah Conservation Fund. Read more in the blog.

Book reviews

Grants & Opportunities

 jaguar captured on a camera trap during the study.

A jaguar captured on a camera trap during Caruso et al’s study. Read the blog post here. Photo: María Flavia Caruso.



Emma joined the Oryx team in 2022 after completing an MSc in wildlife conservation. She is particularly interested in African wildlife and the wildlife trade, and carried out her MSc research on the impact of wild meat hunting on duiker populations in Central Africa. Prior to her MSc, Emma worked in finance before volunteering at conservation organizations and training as a field guide in South Africa.