SOSA – Senckenberg Ocean Species Alliance


Human-driven environmental change is accelerating biodiversity loss. Threats such as deep-sea mining, climate change and pollution – just to name a few – are irrevocably changing ocean habitats and threatening marine life. If we don’t take action now to protect ocean species, valuable animals will become extinct. This includes many marine invertebrate species, which are often overlooked in conservation efforts.

The Red List Unit plays a vital role in addressing this crisis by building capacity to assess the extinction risk of marine invertebrate species and protecting them through inclusion on the IUCN Red List. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is a powerful tool that helps inform stakeholders, such as governmental environmental agencies, NGOs, national parks and researchers, as well as the general public about options for conservation. 


The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species was established in 1964 and is currently the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global extinction risk status of animal, fungus and plant species. It is an important tool in the protection and conservation of individual species and global biodiversity by informing policy, influencing resource allocation and shaping decision-making of conservation efforts worldwide. Find out more about the IUCN Red List and its role in species protection here. 

Since 2023, Senckenberg is an official partner organisation of the IUCN Red List. A major piece of this support is the establishment of the IUCN SSC Marine Invertebrates Red List Authority (MIRLA). Chaired by SOSA co-founder Prof. Dr. Julia Sigwart, MIRLA coordinates the assessment of marine invertebrates worldwide. The aim is to expand taxonomic efforts, to assess as many species as possible for the IUCN Red List and to determine their endangerment status. Learn more about MIRLA here.


Red List Training & Assessment

The Red List Unit builds capacity for species protection by organising training workshops where marine invertebrate experts from all over the world complete an educational course that prepares them for Red List assessing. SOSA also sponsors Red List workshops where assessors gather to complete multiple Red List assessments for a specific group of marine invertebrates, like cold-water corals or cone snails.


Species on the IUCN Red List assessed by SOSA

SOSA’s Red List Unit:

Are you interested in attending a training to become a Red List assessor, have a marine invertebrate species you think should be assessed, or being part of our growing SOSA alliance? Contact one of our Red List Unit team members below!

Dr. Julia Silva Beneti
Red List Assessor