A New Brazilian Red List is published

The Chico Mendes Institute for Nature Conservation (ICMBio), an office of the Brazilian Ministry of Environment, completed a comprehensive conservation assessment of Brazilian animals in December 2014. The pdf will be available soon from http://www.icmbio.gov.br/portal/ and will also be published, along with the data, here on the National Red List website. This will be the largest single NRL assessment submitted by a country and we are delighted to be able to share these results soon.

ICMBio had a target of assessing 10,000 species and consequently began collaboration with IUCN in 2010. From 2010 to 2014 a total of 12,256 taxa were assessed, including all vertebrates known to occur in Brazil. A total of 8,924 vertebrates were assessed: 732 mammals, 1,980 birds, 732 reptiles, 973 amphibians, 4,507 fishes (3,131 freshwater, 1,363 marine species, including 152 elasmobranchs and five myxines). Additionally, 3,332 invertebrates were assessed, including crustaceans, molluscs, insects and many other groups.

To assess the conservation status of all these animals, the ICMBio conducted 73 assessment workshops and four review workshops for proofing and validating the assessments. This gigantic effort relied upon the participation of over 1,300 specialists, several of them Red List Authorities and/or members of IUCN specialist groups.

Habitat loss or disturbance, mainly resulting from the expansion of agriculture and cattle ranching, urbanisation, and large constructions like hydroelectric power plants, ports, and mining plants are the main threat to mainland species. For marine species, the main threat is overfishing, either direct or accidental.

The assessment found that 1,182 species (9.6% of all species assessed) are threatened, nine of which are still to be described (five snakes, two birds, one mammal and one fish). The undescribed species were not included in the official red lists published on 18 December 2014. The official red list (threatened species only), containing 1,173 taxa, included 110 mammals (15% of all mammals assessed), 234 birds (12%), 80 reptiles (11%), 41 amphibians (4%), 353 bony fishes (8%), 55 elasmobranchs (32%), one myxine (20%) and 299 invertebrates (9%). Among these species, one is Extinct in the Wild, 318 are Critically Endangered, 406 are Endangered and 448 are Vulnerable. Furthermore, five species are Extinct and an additional five are extinct in Brazil (Regionally Extinct). Finally, 314 (2.5%) species were assessed as Near Threatened and 1,669 (13.6%) were regarded as Data Deficient.

ICMBio is now focusing on determining conservation strategies and preparing action plans aiming to combat the main threats and reduce the risk of extinction of threatened taxa in order to remove them from the threatened categories of the Red List (in line with the CBD’s Target 12: “By 2020, the extinction of known threatened species has been prevented and their conservation status, particularly of those most in decline, has been improved and sustained”), to avoid Near Threatened species becoming threatened and to enhance knowledge on Data Deficient taxa.

Rosana Subira

Edited by Emma Garnett and Monika Bohm