NZ biosecurity, biodiversity expert’s work recognised with high award


Professor Mick Clout was awarded the Sir Peter Scott Award for Conservation Merit at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress, held in Barcelona, October 5–14 2008.
Shyama Pagad
Manager, Species Information
IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group
University of Auckland
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The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress, held in Barcelona, October 5–14, brought together in one place about 8000 decision makers from governments, NGOs, UN and academia from all over the world. The purpose of the congress was to debate, share and network, learn, commit, vote and decide on ideas, action and solutions for a diverse and sustainable world.
The IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG) hosted four events at the World Conservation Congress (WCC) and ISSG staff and members participated in many other events.
Several other invasive species-related events were held including Stop Biodiversity Being Invaded: make the world aware of the threat of invasive species (hosted by the Invasives Initiative IUCN); and CleanTrade: Threading the Needle of Invasive Species and Trade (hosted by the Global Invasive Species programme (GISP)).
A great highlight for the New Zealand team was the award given to Professor Mick Clout.
Mick Clout, Professor of Conservation Ecology at the University of Auckland, SSC Steering Committee and outgoing Chair of the IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group, was awarded the Sir Peter Scott Award for Conservation Merit, “in recognition of his unflagging and successful efforts to bring invasive alien species issues to the forefront of IUCN’s work and his dedicated leadership of the Invasive Species Specialist Group for 15 years”. Mick is the founding Chair of the IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group.
Mick’s primary research specialty is the ecology and behaviour of vertebrates. After gaining a PhD from the University of Auckland in 1977, he worked as a research scientist with what was the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) Ecology Division in Nelson. He joined Department of Conservation as Manager (Research) in 1989 and started working at the University of Auckland in 1993, where he extended his research interests into areas of biosecurity and invasive species management.
Mick has authored or co-authored about 150 publications, including 96 research papers. He is also the Chair of the New Zealand Biosecurity Ministerial Advisory Committee, and Director of the University of Auckland Centre for Biodiversity and Biosecurity.
Other highlights of the congress included the launch of a very impressively functional, updated World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA), see (www.wdpa.org/). The WDPA is a joint venture of UNEP and IUCN.
Results of the most comprehensive assessment of the world’s mammals were released, confirming an extinction crisis of the world’s mammals, with almost one in four at risk of disappearing forever.
A detailed review of the 2008 Red List of Threatened Species (see www.iucn.org/about/work/programmes/species/red_list/review/) provides information on the state of the world’s species including information on species susceptibility to climate change and development of biodiversity indicators.




Professor Mick Clout with the Sir Peter Scott Award for Conservation Merit.