Southeast Asia, as defined by the ASEAN region, is a hotspot for impending species extinctions. At a global scale, the region has the highest number of species categorized as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List and considered to be on the brink of extinction. Rapid and large-scale habitat loss driven by fast-paced development, together with rampant exploitation of wildlife and natural resources have been largely responsible for declining biodiversity in this densely populated region. There is an urgent need to scale up conservation efforts to prevent species extinctions.
The Southeast Asian Archipelago field programs focus on Critically Endangered species in addition to assisting with increasing protection for Critically Endangered species of sharks and rays integrating with WCS Malaysia and Indonesia program priorities.