Zoo Outreach Organization &
Wildlife Information Liaison Development


IUCN SSC South Asian Invertebrate Specialist Group


SAsISGThe South Asian Invertebrate Specialist Group SAsISG is hosted by Zoo Outreach Organization based at Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India. Dr. B.A. Daniel, ZOO, Coimbatore, India and Dr. Ather Md. Rafi, National Agricultural Research Center, Islamabad, Pakistan act as the co-chairs of the specialist group.

VISION: A region that appreciate and conserve invertebrates.

AIMS: To conserve invertebrate taxa: species level, genetic and regional level diversity.

OBJECTIVES: To assist individuals, institutions and agencies in South Asia to conserve invertebrates.

GEOGRAPHIC AREA: The South Asian Invertebrate Specialist Group includes: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.


To involve invertebrate specialist and to establish group membership, ensuring appropriate regional and technical representation and to form SAsISG network to meet the demands of the Specilaist Group.
To form sub-networks based on eco-functional groups.
To form e-groups.

To identify issues, problems and gaps related to invertebrate conservation in South Asia at regional and national levels..
To solve taxonomic issues of invertebrate species
To improve the skills in taxonomy and species identification of priority taxa of conservation concern
To identify threatened taxa, endemic species at national and regional level through species assessments
To direct studies on surveys, monitoring, improve knowledge on life-cycles for better implementation of Action Plans
To identify important invertebrate sites and unique habitats in South Asia and to promote species conservation
To identify actual and potential threats for invertebrates changes of attitudes, government policies, or support
To announce and intervene on acute symptoms of invertebrate loss and to promote remedies
To prepare information and Action Plans for land and freshwater invertebrates on priority basis; publish and deliver to relevant target audiences
To prepare taxon-based action plans on selected high priority species groups; publish and deliver to relevant target audiences

Develop linkage and collaboration with the wider invertebrate community/conservation bodies.
Liaise with IUCN actors in promoting the work of the Group: Staff in head quarters/regional country offices, IUCN members, IUCN National committees, SSC steering Committee members and SSC advisory members.
To make invertebrate species information accessible to conservation officers in government and NGO's.
To improve the public awareness of the need to maintain invertebrates as a biological resource.

To prepare annual report and dissemination.
To publish review articles on invertebrate conservation.
Read more about SAsISG activities:
Invertebrate network activities for the year 2012-13
Invertebrate network activities for the year 2011-12
Invertebrate network activities for the year 2010-11

Sub-networks of IUCN SSC South Asian Invertebrate
Specialist Group

Invertebrates dominate all life forms. From conservation perspective, all invertebrate groups need equal attention due to the important role they play in the ecosystem. Invertebrate conservation faces multitudes of impediments, which has been addressed in many global conventions. The numerical dominance and vast diversity of invertebrates alone is an obstacle enough to invertebrate conservation!

In this regard, the South Asian Invertebrate Specialist Group realized the need to prioritise activities and has decided that one means of prioritization would be by utility or ecological functions. The ecological functions include the purification of air and water, the stabilization and moderation of the Earth's climate, the renewal of soil fertility, the cycling of nutrients, the pollination of plants etc. From this complex web of interacting natural processes human societies derive the multiplicity of benefits that has guaranteed their survival and development throughout their history: water, food, shelter, fuel, clothing, medicines, building materials, aromatics, dyes, means of transport, power generation and a myriad of other benefits.The following are some of the eco functional groups for which networks has been initiated for the first two networks and for the rest in due course.
    * Invertebrate Pollinators
    * Aquatic (Freshwater) invertebrates
    * Aquatic (marine) invertebrates
    * Terrestrial invertebrates
    * Under soil invertebrates
    * Agro diversity invertebrates
The objectives of these network are:
To identify all field biologists in South Asia working on different functional group themes (mentioned above) and network them to promote conservation particularly through field studies.
To plan and execute activities such as training programmes, workshops and meetings.
To bring out publications related to above themes for better exchange of ideas and
To educate policy makers and general public about this issue.

Invertebrate Pollinator Network of South Asia (IPNSA)

The Invertebrate Pollinator Network of South Asia is an activity of the South Asian Invertebrate Specialist Group and ICINSA. Pollinating invertebrates is one of the most significant of the functional groups since 1) the survival of a multitude of other organisms depends on a working food chain which a decline in pollinating invertebrates surely will affect and 2) reports from many countries in the world indicate that pollinating invertebrates are in serious decline. In South Asia, there are limited studies; therefore little information has been forthcoming.

Aquatic (Freshwater) Invertebrate Conservation Network of
South Asia

The Aquatic Freshwater Invertebrate Conservation Network of South Asia is an activity of the South Asian Invertebrate Specialist Group and ICINSA. Freshwater and freshwater biodiversity constitute a valuable natural resource. Conservation and management of freshwater biodiversity and freshwater ecosystems are critical to the interest of all humans. Freshwater biodiversity is declining far greater than those in the most affected terrestrial ecosystems. Two hotspots in South Asia are the focus of attention towards conservation of freshwater biodiversity.

Aquatic (Marine) Invertebrate Conservation Network of
South Asia

Five South Asian countries namely Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have 160,000 km2 coastal zone with 135 million people living with in it. As evidenced in literature, this region is rich in ecological diversity and mangrove ecosystem in this region is unique that make up 8% of the world’s mangrove areas. The coral reef support a diverse variety of fauna and flora. Large scale exploitation of natural resources has become a concern as many marine species population are declining due to various anthropogenic threats affecting its population.

Some of the broad line objectives of this network are to identify and network Marine invertebrate researchers and field biologists of South Asia, develop database and checklist of selected marine invertebrates of South Asia, training on marine invertebrate species taxonomy, encourage members to take up field research, rapid species assessments, develop an action plan for marine invertebrate conservation for South Asia, education and web publication, collating information and lobbying for marine species conservation and identifying important marine species habitats and status understanding.

This newly formed sub network on Aquatic (Marine) Invertebrate Conservation and Information Network of South Asia will be co-chaired by Dr. B.A. Daniel, Scientist and Chair of the South Asian Invertebrate Specialist Group and Dr. R. Ramanibai, Professor, Department of Zoology, Madras University, Chennai.

SAsISG Activity Report:
Invertebrate Pollinator Conservation and Education Workshop Report 2013
Freshwater Biodiversity Conservation Education Training Workshop Report 2013
Assessment of South Asian butterflies for conservation prioritization
Education on Conservation of Freshwater Biodiversity of Western Ghats Report 2012

To become a member of the sub-networks download the application form
Pollinator Network
Aquatic (Freshwater) Invertebrate
Aquatic (Marine) Invertebrate

For more information contact badaniel@zooreach.org