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SMSG Red List internship 2024

By 4th July 2024News

The SMSG would like to say a huge Thank You to Erin McDonald for her work on a number of Red List reassessments for small mammals. Erin joined the team in the UK for a 6 month part-time internship through Durrell.

Erin McDonald

Erin McDonald

“During my six-month internship with the IUCN SSC Small Mammal Specialist Group, I have been focusing on drafting global Red List assessments and range maps of small mammals, this included updating previously assessed species and drafting assessments for newly described species. Throughout the internship, I have gained new skills, such as GIS, and developed my knowledge of small mammal ecology and habitats. The desire to learn more about the Red List framework began following a lecture from Dr David Mallon in which I was informed about the global and regional assessor exam, after I completed this, I wanted to put the knowledge I had learnt into practice and offered my help to the SMSG. Abi and Ros guided me through the process of drafting assessments and range maps in line with IUCN guidelines. Throughout this time, I have drafted assessments for many small mammal species, from hedgehogs to shrews, which will be sent off to species experts before finalisation and uploaded to the IUCN Red List site. It will be both exciting and rewarding to see the species assessments I contributed towards published online.

I am currently studying for an MSc in Conservation Biology at Manchester Metropolitan University and this opportunity has allowed to me gain valuable skills and knowledge that I can transfer into my future conservation career as well as providing me the opportunity to build connections with experts in the industry. I am grateful to Ros and Abi for their guidance throughout my internship and for giving me such a great opportunity.”

Here are just a few of the species that Erin has worked on: