About the Species Survival Commission

Species Survival Commission

What is the Species Survival Commission (SSC)?

The IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) is a science-based network of some 7,500 volunteer experts from almost every country of the world, all working together towards achieving the vision of, “A world that values and conserves present levels of biodiversity."

Most members are deployed in more than 100 Specialist Groups and Task Forces. Some groups address conservation issues related to particular groups of plants or animals while others focus on topical issues, such as reintroduction of species into former habitats or wildlife health.

Members include:

  • researchers
  • government officials
  • wildlife veterinarians
  • zoo and botanical institute employees
  • marine biologists
  • protected area managers
  • experts on plants, birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates.

Working in close association with IUCN’s Species Programme, SSC’s major role is to provide information to IUCN on biodiversity conservation, the inherent value of species, their role in ecosystem health and functioning, the provision of ecosystem services, and their support to human livelihoods.

SSC members also provide scientific advice to conservation organisations, government agencies and other IUCN members, and support the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements.

The technical guidelines produced by the SSC provide guidance to specialized conservation projects and initiatives, such as re-introducing animals into their former ranges, handling confiscated specimens, and halting the spread of invasive species.