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definition - IUCN_Species_Survival_Commission

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IUCN Species Survival Commission

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The IUCN Species Survival Commission is a special commission operated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The commission's primary goal is the preservation of species worldwide.[1]


Specialist Groups and Task Forces

The SSC operates a multitude of specialist groups and task forces under its wing. Each group is specifically inclined towards the conservation of a specific taxon or organismal grouping. Each specialist group usually has its own members, agenda, official website and publishes its own scientific journal or newsletter.

Each specialist groups are arranged together by taxon.

Amphibians and Reptiles

Amphibian and Reptile Specialist Groups of IUCN SSC

Amphibian Specialist Group

Crocodile Specialist Group

As its name implies, the Crocodile Specialist Group focuses on the conservation of the world's crocodilian species.[2] The group has produced one major publication on crocodilian conservation, a book entitled Crocodiles: An Action Plan for Their Conservation.[3]

Iguana Specialist Group

Marine Turtle Specialist Group

The Marine Turtle Specialist Group, or MTSG, is one of more than 100 specialist groups and task forces that make up the IUCN Species Survival Commission. The MTSG's mission is, "to develop and support strategies, set priorities, and provide tools that promote and guide the conservation of marine turtles, and their ecological roles and habitats". The MTSG was founded in 1966, when Sir Peter Scott asked Dr. Archie Carr to chair the group and appoint group members. The group now has over 250 volunteer members in more than 80 countries and is considered to be the global authority on sea turtles. [2]
The MTSG also publishes the Marine Turtle Newsletter, a scientific journal specializing in marine turtle studies.[4]

Turtle Survival Alliance

The Turtle Survival Alliance is a partner organization and essentially the IUCN SSC's Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles Specialist Group.[1]



Cormorant Specialist Group

Crane Specialist Group

Diver/Loon Specialist Group

Duck Specialist Group

Flamingo Specialist Group

Goose Specialist Group

Grebe Specialist Group

Grouse Specialist Group

Heron Specialist Group

The Heron Specialist Group is a collaborative group of researchers and conservationists focused on the biology and conservation of the herons of the world. Herons are 64 species of long legged, long necked birds in the family Ardeidae. The Group was founded in 1984 by James Kushlan and Heinz Hafner and as of 2008 has over 200 members. It has organized several synthetic studies of herons, published as Heron Conservation (James A. Kushlan and Heinz Hafner, 2000, Academic Press), The Herons (James A. Kushlan and James Hancock, 2005, Oxford University Press), and Conserving Herons, A Conservation Action Plan for the Herons of the World (James A. Kushlan, Station Biologique de la Tour du Valat, Les Sambuc, France). The latter presents the status of the populations of the herons of the world and outlines strategies and specific projects for the conservation of herons.

Megapod Specialist Group

Partridge, Quail and Francolin Specialist Group

Pelican Specialist Group

Pheasant Specialist Group

Rail Specialist Group

Seaduck Specialist Group

Stork, Ibis and Spoonbill Specialist Group

Swan Specialist Group

Threatened Waterfowl Specialist Group

Wader Specialist Group

Woodcock Specialist Group



Coral Reef Fishes Specialist Group

Groupers and Wrasses Specialist Group

The Groupers and Wrasses Species Survival Commission Specialist Group focuses on conservation efforts for species of fish in the families Serranidae and Labridae. Many members of these families are heavily exploited as food and sport fishes.[5]

Salmonid Specialist Group

The Salmonid Specialist Group specializes in the conservation of species of fish under the order Salmoniformes.

Shark Specialist Group

Shark Specialist Group official site

Sturgeon Specialist Group

The Sturgeon Specialist Group specializes in the conservation of species of fish under the family Acipenseridae.

IUCN/WI Freshwater Fishes Specialist Group

The IUCN/WI Freshwater Fishes Specialist Group focuses on conservation efforts towards the freshwater fishes of the world.



Mollusc Specialist Group

Odonata Specialist Group






Disciplinary Groups


Conservation Breeding Specialist Group

[8]The Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG) is a worldwide conservation network dedicated to saving threatened species by increasing the effectiveness of conservation efforts worldwide. CBSG is recognized as a respected force using innovative, scientifically sound, collaborative processes to bring together people and knowledge to effect positive conservation change. CBSG is a part of the Species Survival Commission of the IUCN. It's ties to the IUCN are essential to the strength of the CBSG and its position as a vital link among governments, conservation organizations, and others in the conservation community.

CBSG’s mission is to save threatened species by facilitating successful integration of conservation efforts worldwide. CBSGlinks conservation breeding institutions (such as zoos, aquariums, botanic gardens and others) with other stakeholders helping each to contribute more effectively to the conservation of species in wild habitats.

CBSG's work in conservation is based on a central philosophy: that people from many different backgrounds and perspectives are required to address the global biodiversity crisis. Therefore, CBSG emphasizes the exchange of information across diverse groups to reach agreement on the important challenges facing humans and wildlife. They do this by designing interactive, participatory workshops that provide an objective environment, expert knowledge, and thoughtful group facilitation. CBSG's workshop “toolkit” for conservation professionals is based on using sound scientific principles, and promotes the creative use of new information to refine existing wildlife management practices. Through developing a broad understanding of challenges and alternative solutions, workshop participants can produce meaningful and practical management recommendations that generate political and social support for conservation action – from local communities to national political authorities. Timely production of workshop reports has immediate impact on stakeholders and decision makers.

Invasive Species Specialist Group


Re-introduction Specialist Group


Sustainable Use Specialist Group


Veterinary Specialist Group


Task Forces & Working Groups


Asian Vulture Task Force

Large Carnivore Initiative for Europe Working Group

Species Conservation Planning Task Force

Restructuring Task Force


  1. "IUCN Species Survival Commission". official site. World Conservation Union. http://www.iucn.org/themes/ssc/. Retrieved 2007-02-15. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Crocodile Specialist Group". CSG Official Site. IUCN: The World Conservation Union. http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/natsci/herpetology/crocs.htm. Retrieved 2007-02-15. 
  3. Thorbjarnarson, J.; H. Messel, F.W. King & J.P. Ross, editors (1992). Crocodiles: An Action Plan for Their Conservation. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN. pp. 132 pp.. ISBN 2-8317-0060-4. 
  4. "Marine Turtle Newsletter". seaturtle.org. IUCN: Marine Turtle Specialist Group. http://www.seaturtle.org/mtn/. Retrieved 2007-02-15. 
  5. "Groupers and Wrasses Specialist Group". Species Survival Commission. IUCN: The World Conservation Union. http://www.hku.hk/ecology/GroupersWrasses/iucnsg/index.html. Retrieved 2007-02-15. 

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