Biodiversity Connections

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ASAP website launched -

Asian Species Action Partnership (ASAP!) is an interagency coalition to address the extinction risk among the most threatened non-marine vertebrates of Southeast Asia. Organizations within the international conservation community are joining forces to minimise impending extinctions in this area of the world, where habitat loss, trade and hunting has contributed to a dramatic loss of its rich and incredible biodiversity.

How Will the Asian Species Action Partnership Work?

As a matter of urgency, reverse the declines in the wild of Critically Endangered freshwater and land vertebrates in South-east Asia.

Map of Threatened Species / Burmese Roofed Turtle Left: Map of Threatened Species / Burmese Roofed Turtle Left: Global map of threatened mammal species (Vulnerable, Endangered or Critically Endangered in the IUCN Red List) (Jenkins et al. 2013). Right: Burmese Roofed Turtle Batagur trivittata © Brian Horne, once thought to be extinct; its rediscovery in 2002 underscores the need for additional surveys for this species so that extant wild populations and their habitats can be effectively protected. There is also a pressing need to diversify the captive holdings of this species as all the captive individuals are housed in Myanmar.

ASAP aims to:

  • catalyze urgent actions to reduce immediate threats causing the decline of ASAP species by filling knowledge gaps, initiating new initiatives for species recovery

  • strengthen ongoing conservation action by facilitating partnerships, raising profiles and increasing financial support

  • convene and support dialogue among stakeholders by helping coordinate and streamline action

  • improve efficiency and impact of conservation action by promoting conservation best practice for species planning and impact monitoring

ASAP’s key role will be in catalyzing action to meet the conservation needs of a critical list of species. Shortfalls which are currently failing these species need to be identified and addressed, like improved access to funding, better species-specific information and gaining higher-level political leverage to influence policy and shape interventions.

ASAP will also help to identify and prioritize what the needs of species are on the ground, for example, determining the specific threats that need to be removed or mitigated and how – often through one or more of securing critical sites and breaking trade networks. ASAP also needs to facilitate safeguarding of populations where threat reduction may not now be enough e.g., through captive breeding programs.

In summary, ASAP faces some very stiff challenges by targeting high-risk species already facing a serious threat of extinction. Through the development of, for example, a strengthened network of specialists, a heightened global awareness of the urgency of action required, and an increased commitment to conservation by donors or governments in the region, ASAP aims to save species rather than witness their accelerated loss.


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