By Lacey Avery
Organizations within the international conservation community are joining forces to minimize impending extinctions in Southeast Asia, where habitat loss, trade and hunting have contributed to a dramatic decline in wildlife. The coalition is aptly named ASAP, or the Asian Species Action Partnership.
“ASAP began as a response to alarming results revealed in a 2008 comprehensive assessment for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species,” Rachel Roberts, International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Species Survival Commission (IUCN SSC) network coordination officer, told mongabay.com.
The assessment revealed a heavy concentration of threatened mammals in Southeast Asia with similar trends observed for other animals. In response, interested conservation organizations came together in a joint call for action.
The emerging program is coordinated by the IUCN SSC on behalf of its member organizations. ASAP will not implement activities directly, but will work to support conservation agencies with programs focused on Southeast Asia’s freshwater and land vertebrates categorized as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
“We hope that ASAP can help mobilize support where it is urgently needed by drawing on the collaborative expertise of conservation practitioners,” Roberts said.
Although still in its infancy, ASAP is quickly coming together. A structure has been created to help define goals, provide expertise and encourage interagency collaboration. The program also identified species on the IUCN Red List that meet ASAP’s criteria for eligibility. More....