Conservation in Action
Celebrating 25 Years of Action for Biodiversity
On International Day for Biological Diversity IUCN celebrates successful conservation action with images and stories of 11 species and the conservation efforts underway to improve their conservation status. From the Lebanese cedar to the greater bamboo lemur, these stories prove that conservation action does work. About two million species have been identified and described so far, but scientists believe that this is only a fraction of the global total. About 5% of known species are assessed on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, which provides comprehensive information about their conservation status and guides conservation action globally.
The Greater Bamboo Lemur (Prolemur simus) is an endangered monotypic species found only in isolated pockets of Madagascar's eastern rainforests. Once thought to be extinct, it was 'rediscovered' in 1986 in the Ranomafana region of southeast Madagascar. It is a bamboo specialist, with a strong dependence on giant bamboo. Threatened by habitat destruction and hunting, it has been the subject of intense conservation measures, including work with local communities, and these have had positive results. It is found in several protected areas, including Ranomafana National Park (the creation of which was stimulated by the species’ discovery there more than 30 years ago), Andringitra National Park, Mantadia National Park, and especially the Kianjavato region, which appears to have the largest known population. The IUCN SOS Programme also runs conservation projects for the Greater Bamboo Lemur.
The Vulnerable Lebanese cedar (Cedrus Libani) is culturally important, being featured on the national flag, national currency and on Government logos. It is also a feature of books, poetry and is used in craft. Conservation measures include extensive planting projects and education projects about the protected area. This photograph was taken in the Al-Shouf Ceder Nature Reserve, which accounts for a quarter of the remaining cedar forest in Lebanon. The Nature Reserve is part of the IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas programme. This programme aims to encourage, achieve and promote protected areas all over the world and improve the conservation status of the species that dwell within them.
Green turtles (Chelonia mydas) are protected by international and national policies. In Australia, a Recovery Plan for Marine Turtles is working to improve the conservation status of this Endangered species through research and monitoring (tagging and satellite tracking). Studies in feeding and nesting sites are also conducted. This photograph was taken in the waters offshore from Arakwal National Park, Australia. The National Park is part of the IUCN Green List of Protected and Conserved Areas programme. This programme aims to encourage, achieve and promote effective Protected Areas all over the world and improve the conservation status of the species that dwell within them.
The Ethiopian Wolf (Canis simensis) is Africa's most endangered carnivore, and arguably the most endangered canid in the world. Listed as Endangered, this charismatic and elusive species exists only in the highlands of Ethiopia. This species has benefited greatly from conservation efforts, and its largest population occurs in the Bale Mountains of southern Ethiopia where over 200 individuals are actively managed by the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Project (EWCP) and the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Society. EWCP wolf trackers monitor individual and pack activity nearly 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. Thanks to conservation efforts, much of the Ethiopian Wolf’s existing habitat is now preserved, and public awareness has caused threats from hunting to subside. In recent years, some populations have declined by as much as 30% due to disease spread by domestic dogs, so it is still critically important that conservation efforts continue.