Membership Process and Criteria

Peale’s dolphin (Lagenorhynchus australis), photographed in the Chiloé Archipelago, Chile, by Sonja Heinrich

Specialist Groups of the Species Survival Commission are established for 4-year terms, which begin immediately following the quadrennial IUCN World Conservation Congress. The current term began after the most recent Congress in Honolulu, Hawaii, in September 2016. Members of the Cetacean Specialist Group (CSG) are appointed for 4-year terms, or whatever portion of a given 4-year term remains at the time of the appointment.

There is no application process. New members are typically nominated by existing members, but may also be nominated from outside the CSG. All nominees are evaluated by the CSG Chairman and Deputy Chairman, in close consultation with the CSG Regional Co-ordinators, other CSG members from the region, or CSG members with relevant expertise. Given the CSG’s core mission of providing scientifically credible advice on the conservation of cetaceans, the membership is generally expected to reflect a high standard of scientific accomplishment as well as a strong commitment to conservation.

“Chilean dolphins, Cephalorhynchus eutropia, photographed in the Chiloé Archipelago, Chile. Photo: Sonja Heinrich.

The CSG is a voluntary network, and so it is necessary to limit its size for manageability and effectiveness. The size of the group is kept within the range of 100-120 individuals and only a small number of new membership nominations can be considered each year. Members are selected so that the membership in totality encompasses a broad range and balance of expertise and experience in terms of geography, taxonomy, and technical know-how. Also, a serious effort is made to maintain both a significant element of ‘corporate memory’ (longstanding members) and a steady infusion of ‘new blood’ (young scientists and emerging conservation leaders). Members can be reappointed for second and subsequent 4-year terms but only if they have demonstrated significant activity on behalf of the CSG.

Members adhere to the Terms of Reference for Members of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, detailed here.

Randall R. Reeves (1997-present)

Deputy Chairman
Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara (1997-present)

Regional Coordinators:

Latin America: Enrique Crespo
Asia: Brian D. Smith
Oceania: Elanor Bell & Mike Double
Europe & North Africa: Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara
Africa: Tim Collins

Official IUCN observer to the International Whaling Commission:
Justin Cooke

Yangtze finless porpoises, Neophocaena asiaeorientalis asiaeorientalis, in captivity at the Institute of Hydrobiology, Wuhan, China. Photo credit: Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Cetacean Red List Authority
Barbara Taylor (Focal Point)
Randall R. Reeves
Justin Cooke
Phil Hammond
Thomas Jefferson
Gill Braulik
Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara
Brian Smith
Robert L. Brownell Jr.

Website Manager:

Gill Braulik