This workshop is by invitation only.
Rosalind Kennerley, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, UK.
The IUCN SSC Small Mammal Specialist Group (SMSG) represents rodents, shrews, moles, solenodons, hedgehogs and tree-shrews, and is therefore responsible for more than 2800 species, accounting for over half of all mammal species. In this workshop we will bring together a panel of experts from across different disciplines to give a series of short talks reviewing the current knowledge and understanding of this group of species, before holding a structured working session around the topics of research and conservation plans for the future.
By the end of 2016 the Red List assessments and reassessments for all species in the group will have been completed. This provides the SMSG with the ideal opportunity to undertake global analyses on the data to identify key regions for threatened and Data Deficient (DD) species. The results of these analyses will be presented during the workshop. One of the greatest challenges that the SMSG faces is how to address and reduce the large number of DD species. In the 2008 assessment 447 were listed under this category, in many cases this was due uncertainty of taxonomy within families and this topic will form the second of the talks. The important gaps in our scientific understanding of the taxonomy within the group will be discussed and the developing role of molecular approaches in conservation, especially in revealing cryptic species groups, will be highlighted. The second cause of the high number of DD species is that there is often a paucity of even basic ecological information about the species and consequently it is not possible to apply the Red List Criteria. This subject will be considered in the third talk.