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The Conservation Status of North American, Central American, and Caribbean Chondrichthyans

The Conservation Status of North American, Central American, and Caribbean Chondrichthyans

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Kyne, P.M., Carlson, J.K., Ebert, D.A., Fordham, S.V., Bizzarro, J.J., Graham, R.T., Kulka, D.W., Tewes, E.E., Harrison, L.R., and Dulvy, N.K. (eds). 2012. The

Conservation Status of North American, Central American, and Caribbean Chondrichthyans. IUCN Species Survival Commission Shark Specialist Group, Vancouver, Canada.
Sharks and their relatives, including skates, rays, and
chimaeras, are collectively termed chondrichthyan fishes
(class Chondrichthyes). The skates and rays are known
as batoids (superorder Batoidea) while the batoids and
sharks together comprise the elasmobranchs (subclass
Elasmobranchii).
The chondrichthyans are a relatively small (~1,150
described species), evolutionarily conservative group
that has functioned successfully in diverse marine and
aquatic ecosystems for over 400 million years. Despite
their evolutionary success, many species are increasingly
threatened with overexploitation as a result of their life
history traits and the activities of humans.
1.1 The IUCN Species Survival
Commission’s Shark Specialist Group
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
is the world’s largest global environmental network. It is
a membership union with more than 1,000 government
and non-governmental member organizations and almost
11,000 volunteer scientists in more than 160 countries.
The Species Survival Commission (SSC) is composed of
7,500 scientists, field researchers, government officials,
and conservation leaders. The SSC established the Shark
Specialist Group (SSG) in 1991 in response to growing
awareness and concern of the severe impact of fisheries
on chondrichthyan populations around the world.
1.2 The SSG’s Red List Program
One of the SSG’s central roles is the preparation of species
assessments for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
The IUCN Red List is the world’s most comprehensive
inventory of the global status of plant and animal species. It
uses a single standardized set of IUCN Red List Categories
and Criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of thousands
of species, subspecies and, subpopulations worldwide.
Each assessment is supported by detailed documentation,
including information on ecology, life history, distribution,
habitat, threats, population trends, and conservation
measures. The SSG’s Red List Program aims to assess the
Red List status of all chondrichthyan species.
This report provides a summary of the IUCN Red List
assessment for each of the 282 described chondrichthyan
species recorded from North American, Central American,
and Caribbean waters. The report highlights those species
of conservation concern (that is, those that were assessed
as Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable, or Near
Threatened) as well as identifying species assessed as Least
Concern and Data Deficient. An overview of regional
issues as well as management issues is also presented. This
report is intended to support the development of research,
conservation, and management priorities for the North
American, Central American
IUCN Species Survival Commission Shark Specialist Group
Kyne, P.M., Carlson, J.K., Ebert, D.A., Fordham, S.V., Bizzarro, J.J., Graham, R.T., Kulka, D.W., Tewes, E.E., Harrison, L.R., and Dulvy, N.K. (eds). 2012. The

Conservation Status of North American, Central American, and Caribbean Chondrichthyans. IUCN Species Survival Commission Shark Specialist Group, Vancouver, Canada.
Sharks and their relatives, including skates, rays, and
chimaeras, are collectively termed chondrichthyan fishes
(class Chondrichthyes). The skates and rays are known
as batoids (superorder Batoidea) while the batoids and
sharks together comprise the elasmobranchs (subclass
Elasmobranchii).
The chondrichthyans are a relatively small (~1,150
described species), evolutionarily conservative group
that has functioned successfully in diverse marine and
aquatic ecosystems for over 400 million years. Despite
their evolutionary success, many species are increasingly
threatened with overexploitation as a result of their life
history traits and the activities of humans.
1.1 The IUCN Species Survival
Commission’s Shark Specialist Group
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
is the world’s largest global environmental network. It is
a membership union with more than 1,000 government
and non-governmental member organizations and almost
11,000 volunteer scientists in more than 160 countries.
The Species Survival Commission (SSC) is composed of
7,500 scientists, field researchers, government officials,
and conservation leaders. The SSC established the Shark
Specialist Group (SSG) in 1991 in response to growing
awareness and concern of the severe impact of fisheries
on chondrichthyan populations around the world.
1.2 The SSG’s Red List Program
One of the SSG’s central roles is the preparation of species
assessments for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
The IUCN Red List is the world’s most comprehensive
inventory of the global status of plant and animal species. It
uses a single standardized set of IUCN Red List Categories
and Criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of thousands
of species, subspecies and, subpopulations worldwide.
Each assessment is supported by detailed documentation,
including information on ecology, life history, distribution,
habitat, threats, population trends, and conservation
measures. The SSG’s Red List Program aims to assess the
Red List status of all chondrichthyan species.
This report provides a summary of the IUCN Red List
assessment for each of the 282 described chondrichthyan
species recorded from North American, Central American,
and Caribbean waters. The report highlights those species
of conservation concern (that is, those that were assessed
as Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable, or Near
Threatened) as well as identifying species assessed as Least
Concern and Data Deficient. An overview of regional
issues as well as management issues is also presented. This
report is intended to support the development of research,
conservation, and management priorities for the North
American, Central American
IUCN Species Survival Commission Shark Specialist Group

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06/06/2015

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