Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group

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Turtle Jo
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Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group

Post by Turtle Jo » Fri Jul 08, 2011 6:31 pm

About the TFTSG

• The IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group (TFTSG) is one of the more than 100 Specialist Groups and Task Forces that constitute the working network of the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC), one of the 6 Commissions of the IUCN–The International Union for Conservation of Nature.

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• The SSC is a science-based network of some 7000+ appointed volunteer specialists and experts from almost every country of the world, all working together towards achieving the vision of “a world that values and conserves present levels of biodiversity." The SSC’s major role is to provide information to IUCN on biodiversity conservation, to provide scientific advice to conservation organizations, government agencies and other IUCN members, and to support the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements.

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• The TFTSG is Chaired by Anders G.J. Rhodin (based at Chelonian Research Foundation), with Peter Paul van Dijk (based at Conservation International) as Deputy Chair and Red List Focal Point. The Group currently has 238 members from 42 nations who work in or focus on 91 nations worldwide. The TFTSG was created in 1987 through the merger of two separate pre-existing groups, the IUCN/SSC Tortoise Specialist Group and the IUCN/SSC Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group, both originally founded in 1981. Previous chairs of the TFTSG and the precursor groups have included Edward O. Moll, Peter C.H. Pritchard, Ian R. Swingland, and John L. Behler.

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• The TFTSG provides expertise and science-based recommendations with conservation relevance covering all species of freshwater and terrestrial turtles and tortoises. The TFTSG is the recognized global authority and official IUCN Red List Authority for the determination of global threat levels for these species. The TFTSG works closely with the IUCN Red List Programme to assess, evaluate, and determine appropriate threat level categorizations for tortoises and freshwater turtles on the IUCN Red List, providing new and updated determinations on a constant basis.

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• The TFTSG also works closely with and assists CITES in matters regarding international trade of tortoises and freshwater turtles, including helping to determine trade levels, evaluating the impacts of international trade, reviewing proposals to change turtle species inclusions on the CITES Appendices, and assisting CITES implementation by the responsible national authorities by providing expertise regarding turtle identification, distribution, biology, and overall conservation threats.

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• The TFTSG has helped establish the IUCN Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA), an official and highly successful Task Force of the TFTSG. The TSA focuses on captive management and prevention of turtle extinctions through range-country and international breeding programs. The TSA is Co-Chaired by Rick Hudson and Dwight P. Lawson.

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• The TFTSG has also helped establish the Turtle Conservation Fund (TCF), a partnership initiative of the TFTSG, the TSA, Conservation International, and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria's Shellshock Campaign, that identifies and funds priority turtle conservation projects. The TCF has published A Global Action Plan for Conservation of Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles (available as a Downloadable pdf file here: TCF/TFTSG/TSA Turtle Conservation Action Plan). The TCF is Co-Chaired by Hugh R. Quinn and Anders G.J. Rhodin.

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• The TFTSG is closely associated with Chelonian Research Foundation (CRF), the nonprofit organization founded and directed by Anders G.J. Rhodin, Chair of the TFTSG. The TFTSG helps provide peer-review and editing of the scientific professional journal Chelonian Conservation and Biology, the monograph series Chelonian Research Monographs, and the Turtle and Tortoise Newsletter, all published by CRF in association with the TFTSG.


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