IUCN Otter Specialist Group . . . leading global otter conservation Last Update: Tuesday September 27, 2016
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Joining the Otter Specialist Group

The Otter Specialist Group is part of the IUCN Species Survival Commision, and applies the aims of SSC to otters:

  • to inform the world about the status and trends of global biodiversity, thus providing measures for the health of our one and only biosphere
  • to monitor, evaluate and report on the effectiveness of the combined global conservation actions to mitigate current and emerging threats to biodiversity

Aims and Scope of OSG

As with all Specialist Groups of the World Conservation Union (IUCN),  group members are appointed by, and at the discretion of, the Chair of the OSG, who is appointed by SSC. Beyond a requirement to have a continental coordinator for each continent on which the group's organism of interest is found, it is entirely up to the Chair how the group is organised and what kind of membership it has.

We believe that the aims of the group are best met by a broad range of skills, experience and disciplines, so the current membership covers zoologists, toxicologists, ecologists, conservation practictioners, wildlife rehabilitators, zoo personnel, educators and public communicators amongst others.

The Chair has set up a small Membership Team to handle applications and proposals for membership and to conduct the initial assessment.  This team consists of the two Deputy Chairs and the Continental Coordinators. The committee then recommends new appointees to the Chair.  If the Chair approves them, the Membership Secretary issues the formal invitation to join the group, acting on the Chair’s behalf, along with a letter of agreement to be signed and returned (a scan is fine).  The new member will then recieve a welcome pack, be added to the group's email lists, and also become a member of the Species Survival Commission.

There are two levels of membership: full members and student members. Student membership is reviewed after the course of study ends to determine if the person intends to continue specialising with otters, and in this case may be upgraded to full membership.

Any member of the OSG can propose others for membership.  What we are looking for is people who demonstrate a long-term commitment to otter conservation, in the broadest sense – this means that we have a very wide range of members: researchers, environmentalists, ecologists, toxicologists, zoo staff, rehabilitators, vets, educators and many others.  This produces an active forum with a wide range of views, but everyone should have as their primary focus the continued survival of otters.

How to Join OSG

Firstly, read about the scope and purpose of IUCN, SSC and OSG

If you believe you can make a contribution, please email the Membership Coordinator at lc.wright@yahoo.co.uk

  • a short (one or two page) resume of your otter-related experience, current activity and future plans, and your areas of interest
  • if available, any supporting text from an existing OSG member
  • your full contact details (postal address, email, phone, fax, cell phone etc)

This will then be circulated to the Membership Team for consideration.

If and when you are accepted as a member, we will also need

  1. about 100 words outlining who you are and what you do (for introducing you to the rest of the members of OSG) and
  2. a longer paragraph with more detail about your current otter work and interests including any web links for the Members-Only pages of the website, plus a postal address, phone number and email address. This information will only be available to OSG using a password-protected area of the website. the purpose of this is to allow other members to look for potential collaborators or people who have specialist knowledge or unusual resources.

It does speed up the process if you supply all this information at time of application.

If you have any queries please contact the Membership Coordinator