The Deep has financed the UK's first International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Marine Officer helping to assess 20,000 marine species by 2020.
Zoos and aquariums are working harder than ever to dedicate efforts and resources to the survival of wild species. However conservation threats continue to escalate and prioritising efforts is an ever-growing challenge. It is important for the conservation community as a whole to respond to these challenges by developing new partnerships and new means of focusing and furthering conservation effort.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission (SSC) has, for some time now, been building a stronger relationship with zoos and aquariums. In April 2016, the IUCN established a functioning partnership with The Deep. As a result The Deep has employed a full time Marine Red List Officer that will work jointly with the IUCN. The primary responsability of the role is to contribute to a target of assessing the extinction threat faced by 20,000 marine species for the inclusion on the IUCN Red List by 2020.
Having been fully trained by the IUCN Red List team, The Deep's Red List Officer will contribute to species assessments, funding proposals and publications of data. This is the first position of its kind to be established and represents a new avenue of progress, further cementing the importance of zoos and aquaria in species conservation strategies. Through this position The Deep aims to make significant contributions to the IUCN Red List as well as drive public awareness and help to develop further partnerships with other institutions around the world.
The zoo and aquarium community has long been a keystone for the successful conservation of species at a global scale, but the opportunities now being crafted with the IUCN offer new potential for a more inclusive, holistic approach, to the benefit of effective conservation.
More than 73,600 species have been assessed via The Red List so far, but marine species are still dangerously under-evaluated. Only 11,631 marine species have been assessed and over 1,093 are threatened with extinction.
Our aim is to inspire other zoos and aquariums to join forces to help assess more species. By combining expertise and knowledge, and increased access to resources, these partnerships will create a global network of scientists feeding into essential work of the IUCN.