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The ISG and the Splitting of ITSES
The Insectivore, Tree Shrew and Elephant Shrew Specialist Group (ITSES) was recently split into the Insectivore Specialist Group (ISG) and the Afrotheria Specialist Group, the latter which is chaired by G. Rathbun, and, among other mammal groups, took over the Tenrecidae (tenrecs), Chrysochloridae (golden moles) and Macroscelididae (elephant shrews). The ISG remains in charge of shrews (Sorocidae), hedgehogs (Erinaceidae), moles, desmans and shrew moles (Talpidae), solenodons (Solenondontidae) and tupaias (Scandentia). The number of species is still under revision, as new species and subspecies are still found, especially tropical African Soricidae. We still do not know how many species exist. Future basic research will concern the distribuition and ecology of these species. The taxonomy is still controversial. Including the Scandentia in the ISG has both traditional and practical reasons, - at least it is way to try to create some activity for species that previously had little or no attention. The ISG and the Afrotheria SG will continue to exchange information and ideas so that we all can do a better job on behalf of "our" animals. Web sites will be cross-referenced and newsletters will be exchanged.
ISG Group Structure
After the publication of the "Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan for Eurasian Insectivores" (1995) the group has been somewhat inactive, but with the participation of new and old members will hopefully become more productive. A few longtime members have retired and expressed that they will be unable to actively serve the ISG. However, they will advise whereever possible. Some members of the former ITSES have moved to the Afrotheria SG.
The "new" Insectivore Specialist Group is currently re-organizing membership, setting new goals and proposals for new action plans. The current organization of the group involves the appointment of section-, regional- and country co-ordinators. J. Merritt (CMNH, U.S.A.) acts as vice chair and R.M. Baxter (UFH, R.S.A.) acts as administrative chair. Among others, section co-ordinators are S. Churchfield and R. Hutterer (shrews), N. Reeve (hedgehogs), H. Whidden, J. Ottenwalder and C. Woods (solenodons) and K. Helgen (tupaias). As of September 2001, the ISG counts approximately 40 active members. We will undoubtedly continue to add new members through time, which will share their knowledge and expertise.
The number of interested non-registered persons is much higher, - e.g. the membership list of the "Shrew Talk Newsletter" alone lists over 600 members, suggesting an estimated number of over a 1000 members for insectivores, not counting the interested public. Besides being a scientific forum on insectivores, it has been a tradition for the Shrew Talk Newsletter to include the laymen's questions and provide answers. This tradition is to be continued by the ISG. L. Ruth (ISG Veterinary Liaison, U.S.A.) currently helps with answering incoming inquiries.
Every structural change of a group requires time. As soon as the ISG is re-organized, we plan to work on new conservation action plans and red list assessments. The Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan for African Insectivora will be revised. The "Shrew Bibliography" on CD-ROM is planned to be updated. The ISG Newsletter, currently planned to start as an e-mail service, will be edited by W. Haberl and R.M. Baxter. Depending on funds, we plan to publish this newsletter in printed form. The ISG website (former ITSES website) will be revised and updated.
Two congresses concentrating on insectivore matters will inhance contacts between members and promote scientific progress: These are the 4th Desman Meeting held at Laboratoire Souterrain, Moulis, Pyrénées, France from 18-20 October 2001 and the International Colloquium on the Biology of the Soricidae II to be held at Powdermill Biological Station, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. from 14-18 October 2002. As of 1 July 2001, 70 participants representing 21 counties are registered to attend the latter, which will cover all aspects of soricid biology.
Werner Haberl - Chair, Insectivore Specialist Group
(Text from: Species - Newsletter of the Species Survival Commission IUCN - The World Conservation Union Number 36, 2001)
Dr. Werner Haberl Hamburgerstrasse 11 A-1050 Vienna Austria E-mail: email@example.com
About ISG / ITSES
ITSES History ITSES 1995 ITSES 1998 ISG 2001-2003
Species Newsletter of the Species Survival Commission IUCN - The World Conservation Union - Number 29, December 1997 p. 43 - Insectivore, Tree Shrew, and Elephant Shrew Specialist Group - Rainer Hutterer
List of ISG Members
ISG / ITSES Status Surveys and Conservation Action Plans
African Insectivora and Elephant Shrews - An Action Plan for their Conservation. 1990.
- This is the online version of the SSC/ITSES Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan for Europe and Asia originally published as a printed version by the IUCN (1995).
- Online Version realized by W. Haberl
- Rationale and Objectives of the Action Plan
Future Projects and Goals
The SSC Listserv / Mailing List
You will find this a unique opportunity to tap into the SSC network, and to keep current on some of the activities of our Specialist Groups. We encourage you to share brief news items, details about new publications or upcoming meetings, and information of general interest to the SSC membership, as well as to seek assistance on specific topics. All notices posted to this list will be distributed to SSC members who have asked to be subscribed.
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Afrotheria Specialist Group: Elephant Shrews Web Site
Shrew Talk Newsletter
Shrew Photo Gallery
ISG Chairman: Werner Haberl
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