World survey on status of coral reef fishes and habitat

Dr P Almada Villela (palmada at
Sat, 15 Jun 1996 22:13:42 +0100

IUCN World Survey on Status of Coral Reef Fishes and Habitat

Dear fish workers,

For the last few years, the Coral Reef Fish Specialist Group (CRFSG) of
the IUCN's Species Survival Commission has been carrying out a major
review of the world's coral reef fish faunas, and will report its
findings in a Status Report. This report will establish basic species
lists including endemics (or species with restricted distribution),
identify with GIS techniques hotspots for all species and areas under
threat, and will examine the relationship between the marine aquarium
industry, the coral reef fishes and their habitat.

This survey is the component of the CRFSG programme that is assessing
the conservation status of the coral fish faunas and habitats worldwide
on a country per country basis. It is a fundamental part of the Status
Report as it will provide unique baseline data on the status of species
and habitats around the world. This information, together with other
components of the Group's results, will ultimately result in its Action
Plan for Conservation of Coral Reef Fishes. We are hoping that results
from this project will provide essential guidelines for any future
conservation, resource management and utilization activities worldwide.

The CRFSG carries out most of its work on a voluntary basis and thus,
the development of this project has been slower than expected. However,
we have recently received a grant from the US Department of State which
will allow us to finalise the first phase of our project. We are hoping
to be able to do so by the end of 1996, so that our results may be
disseminated during 1997, the International Year of the Reef.

We are approaching you now to request your help with our efforts. Some
time ago, we send approximately 700+ questionnaires to virtually all
countries that have coral reefs, and a preliminary analysis of the
survey is nearing completion. However, we still have many gaps in
information and we feel that a great deal more could be achieved with
your help. We would therefore be extremely grateful if you would let us
know if you are able to assist us with this project. In the interest of
those colleagues who have to pay higher fees for downloading extended
messages, I will not send the questionnaire to the entire list but I
would be happy to send it individually if I am contacted directly. The
questionnaire is available in English and Spanish, please specify which
version you would like to receive. Alternatively, if enough of you would
like to see the questionnaires on the internet, I would be more than
happy to send it in this way.

We appreciate all the help that you may be able to give us with this
important project. Apologies if you receive multiple copies of this
post, I have sent it to a number of groups in order to get the widest
coverage possible. Finally, I will be in Panama at the 8th International
Coral Reef Congress from 23 to 30 June, if any of you attending have
information I would be very interested in meeting you there.

Yours sincerely,

Patricia Almada-Villela
Coral Reef Fish Specialist Group

Dr P Almada-Villela                             Tel: (+44 01954) 260520
Co-Chair, IUCN SSC                              Fax: (+44 01954) 202291
Coral Reef Fish Specialist Group                palmada at
60 Newington, Willingham
Cambridge, CB4 5JE, UK