Institute of Biology of the Komi Scientific Center of the Ural Branch
of Russian Academy of Sciences
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Republic of Komi
Republican Operation Centre of the Protected Areas and Nature Management
Ministry of Environment of Finland
Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)
BPAN project – Barents Protected Area network

We have a pleasure to invite you in the international workshop «METHODS OF ASSESSMENT OF STATUS OF THE THREATENED SPECIES FOR THE BARENTS-REGION RED DATA BOOKS BASED ON IUCN-CRITERIA«. The workshop will be held 29.09-04.10.2014 in the Institute of biology of Komi SC UB RAS (Syktyvkar, Kommunisticheskaya str., 28).
After the workshop (October 04), one-day field trip near Syktyvkar will be arranged.


In November 2011 the international workshop «Red Data Books of eastern Fennoscandia – perspectives for the next decade» was hold in Kuhmo (Finland). The main purpose of the workshop was to share experience and modern methods of evaluation of the species conservation status between the countries of western Fennoscandia (Norway, Sweden and Finland) and the regions of the Russian European North. Participants of the workshop worked out resolution with the following recommendations:

  •  to establish a network between the regions for developing the assessment process of different groups of organisms
  •  to provide practical training in using IUCN criteria in regional species conservation assessments in North-West Russia
  •  to define and assess endemic taxa in northern Europe to be added to the Global IUCN Red List
  •  to start assessing taxa of eastern Fennoscandia and adjacent Russian territories by using IUCN criteria in the best-known groups of organisms
  •  to develop a common structure in regional data bases for shared expert use

We have to confess that the main questions raised at Kuhmo (2011): (I) how to best pass on experiences from using the IUCN system to eastern Fennoscandia and other regions in Northwest Russia, (II) in what financial framework such a project could be carried out, (III) how to coordinate it between and inside the regions − are still open.

To implement the decisions of the Kuhmo workshop and to put forward harmonizing conservation assessments between western and eastern Fennoscandia, Institute of biology is arranging the second international workshop covering various aspects of the methods of assessment of status of the threatened species based on IUCN-criteria.

Different approaches to evaluate species, recommended to be included in the Red Data Books, in Scandinavian countries and in regions of the Russian European North create certain problems in the species lists comparisons, evaluation of reasons and threats for species of northern Europe. In many of Russian regions, IUCN criteria are not used, and if used, the species ranging by categories is often subjective. Scandinavian countries created unified wide free databases on different taxonomic groups that were used to assess rarity and vulnerability of species and to define the level of threat. Involvement of recommended by IUCN quantitative data avoids the subjectivity in species rarity category assessment.

Methods of the using of the IUCN Red List categories and criteria are often difficult to use especially when applied at the regional level, despite the fact that it is spelled in detail in the relevant manual. Therefore, organization of practical trainings for Russian scientists on the IUCN system considered urgent.

Often there are no specialists in the regions for a number of taxonomic groups. Sometimes studies on particular group are in the initial stage. Therefore, it is useful to create groups of experts dealing with large taxonomical groups of plant and animals and uniting specialists of the Russian European North. Work of an expert group allows to create the regional Red Data Book using data on the threatened species populations’ state in border regions.

The workshop programme will include a plenary session, sections meetings and trainings for Russian experts on using the IUCN criteria system.

The plenary session will include presentation of the representative of the central office IUCN (Switzerland) and introductory lectures addressed to the terms and criteria of IUCN, using to assess vulnerability of species, important updates since version 3.1 as well as the process of the Red Data Books development, used in Nordic countries. Presentations of foreign and Russian specialists about approaches of including the species into national Red Data Books of Finland, Sweden, Norway (2010) and regional Red Data Books of the Russian European North will be also showed at the plenary session.

During the section meetings, guest experts of red-listed species in every country/region will provide a deeper coverage of their experience in creation and maintaining of national redlists, and will provide examples of case studies by giving the presentation and taking part in the discussion.

Trainings for Russian experts on practical using of the IUCN criteria for the particular species will be held as continuation of the session meetings. So, we ask all Russian participants prior to the meeting to get and read the relevant guidelines: «IUCN Red List categories and criteria», version 3.1 https://portals.iucn.org/library/efiles/edocs/RL-2001-001-2nd.pdf (in English), http://www.iucnredlist.org/documents/2001RedListCats_Crit_Russian.pdf (in Russian) and «IUCN Red List categories and criteria», version 10.1 (September 2013) (in English), (in Russian, translated by Kuzmina E.), version 11 (February 2014) http://jr.iucnredlist.org/documents/RedListGuidelines.pdf.

During the workshop we a going to organize discussion «Opportunities to create a database on rare species of the Barents-region».

At the end of meetings, participants will discuss the most crucial needs, like publication of the manual and guidelines how to red-list species for the Russian experts and officers of nature conservational ministries and agencies (in English and in Russian translation). In this publication should be described how the red-listing process is conducted and organized in Finland, Norway and Sweden. It also briefly presents estimation of the difficulties, which the Western experts met in particular groups of organisms.

After the workshop, one-day field trip near Syktyvkar will be arranged.

Based on the lectures presented, publications in international journals, published under the UICN auspices, will possibly be prepared