Conservation status

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Conservation status
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Extinct
Threatened
Lower Risk

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Comparison of Red list classes above
and NatureServe status below
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The conservation status of a group of organisms (for instance, a species) indicates whether the group still exists and how likely the group is to become extinct in the near future. Many factors are taken into account when assessing conservation status: not simply the number of individuals remaining, but the overall increase or decrease in the population over time, breeding success rates, and known threats. Various systems of conservation status exist and are in use at international, multi-country, national and local levels as well as for consumer use.

Contents

International systems

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is the best known worldwide conservation status listing and ranking system. Species are classified by the IUCN Red List into nine groups set through criteria such as rate of decline, population size, area of geographic distribution, and degree of population and distribution fragmentation. [1] [2]

Also included are species that have gone extinct since 500 CE.[ citation needed ] When discussing the IUCN Red List, the official term "threatened" is a grouping of three categories: critically endangered, endangered, and vulnerable.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. Many countries require CITES permits when importing plants and animals listed on CITES.

Multi-country systems

In the European Union (EU), the Birds and Habitats Directives are the legal instruments that evaluate the conservation status within the EU of species and habitats.

NatureServe conservation status focuses on Latin America, United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. It has been developed by scientists from NatureServe, The Nature Conservancy, and the network of natural heritage programs and data centers. It is increasingly integrated with the IUCN Red List system. Its categories for species include: presumed extinct (GX), possibly extinct (GH), critically imperiled (G1), imperiled (G2), vulnerable (G3), apparently secure (G4), and secure (G5). [3] The system also allows ambiguous or uncertain ranks including inexact numeric ranks (e.g. G2?), and range ranks (e.g. G2G3) for when the exact rank is uncertain. NatureServe adds a qualifier for captive or cultivated only (C), which has a similar meaning to the IUCN Red List extinct in the wild (EW) status.

The Red Data Book of the Russian Federation is used within the Russian Federation, and also accepted in parts of Africa.

National systems

In Australia, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) describes lists of threatened species, ecological communities and threatening processes. The categories resemble those of the 1994 IUCN Red List Categories & Criteria (version 2.3). Prior to the EPBC Act, a simpler classification system was used by the Endangered Species Protection Act 1992. Some state and territory governments also have their own systems for conservation status. The codes for the Western Australian conservation system are given at Declared Rare and Priority Flora List (abbreviated to DECF when using in a taxobox).

In Belgium, the Flemish Research Institute for Nature and Forest publishes an online set of more than 150 nature indicators in Dutch. [4]

In Canada, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) is a group of experts that assesses and designates which wild species are in some danger of disappearing from Canada. [5] Under the Species at Risk Act (SARA), it is up to the federal government, which is politically accountable, to legally protect species assessed by COSEWIC.

In China, the State, provinces and some counties have determined their key protected wildlife species. There is the China red data book.

In Finland, many species are protected under the Nature Conservation Act, and through the EU Habitats Directive and EU Birds Directive. [6]

In Germany, the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation publishes "red lists of endangered species".

India has the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972, Amended 2003 and the Biological Diversity Act, 2002.

In Japan, the Ministry of Environment publishes a Threatened Wildlife of Japan Red Data Book. [7]

In the Netherlands, the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality publishes a list of threatened species, and conservation is enforced by the Nature Conservation Act 1998. Species are also protected through the Wild Birds and Habitats Directives.

In New Zealand, the Department of Conservation publishes the New Zealand Threat Classification System lists. As of January 2008 threatened species or subspecies are assigned one of seven categories: Nationally Critical, Nationally Endangered, Nationally Vulnerable, Declining, Recovering, Relict, or Naturally Uncommon. [8] While the classification looks only at a national level, many species are unique to New Zealand, and species which are secure overseas are noted as such.

In Russia, the Red Book of Russian Federation came out in 2001, it contains categories defining preservation status for different species. In it there are 8 taxa of amphibians, 21 taxa of reptiles, 128 taxa of birds, and 74 taxa of mammals, in total 231. There are also more than 30 regional red books, for example the red book of the Altaic region which came out in 1994.

In South Africa, The South African National Biodiversity Institute, established under the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004, [9] is responsible for drawing up lists of affected species, and monitoring compliance with CITES decisions. It is envisaged that previously diverse Red lists would be more easily kept current, both technically and financially.

In Thailand, the Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act of BE 2535 defines fifteen reserved animal species and two classes of protected species, of which hunting, breeding, possession, and trade are prohibited or restricted by law. The National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is responsible for the regulation of these activities.

In Ukraine, the Ministry of Environment Protection maintains list of endangered species (divided into seven categories from "0" - extinct to "VI" - rehabilitated) and publishes it in the Red Book of Ukraine.

In the United States of America, the Endangered Species Act created the Endangered Species List.

Consumer guides

Some consumer guides for seafood, such as Seafood Watch, divide fish and other sea creatures into three categories, analogous to conservation status categories:

The categories do not simply reflect the imperilment of individual species, but also consider the environmental impacts of how and where they are fished, such as through bycatch or ocean bottom trawlers. Often groups of species are assessed rather than individual species (e.g. squid, prawns).

The Marine Conservation Society has five levels of ratings for seafood species, as displayed on their FishOnline website. [11]

See also

Related Research Articles

IUCN Red List Inventory of the global conservation status of biological species

The (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, founded in 1964, is the world's most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species. It uses a set of criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of thousands of species and subspecies. These criteria are relevant to all species and all regions of the world. With its strong scientific base, the IUCN Red List is recognized as the most authoritative guide to the status of biological diversity. A series of Regional Red Lists are produced by countries or organizations, which assess the risk of extinction to species within a political management unit.

Threatened species

Threatened species are any species which are vulnerable to endangerment in the near future. Species that are threatened are sometimes characterised by the population dynamics measure of critical depensation, a mathematical measure of biomass related to population growth rate. This quantitative metric is one method of evaluating the degree of endangerment.

Local extinction or extirpation is the condition of a species that ceases to exist in the chosen geographic area of study, though it still exists elsewhere. Local extinctions are contrasted with global extinctions.

Northern riffleshell subspecies of mollusc

The northern riffleshell, is a subspecies of freshwater mussel, an aquatic bivalve mollusk in the family Unionidae, the river mussels.

Least-concern species IUCN conservation category

A least concern (LC) species is a species which has been categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as evaluated as not being a focus of species conservation. They do not qualify as threatened, near threatened, or conservation dependent.

Conservation-dependent species IUCN conservation category

A conservation-dependent species is a species which has been categorised as "Conservation Dependent" ("LR/cd") by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, i.e. as dependent on conservation efforts to prevent it from becoming threatened with extinction. Such species must be the focus of a continuing species-specific and/or habitat-specific conservation programme, the cessation of which would result in the species qualifying for one of the threatened categories within a period of five years.

Near-threatened species IUCN conservation category

A near-threatened species is a species which has been categorized as "Near Threatened" (NT) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as that may be considered threatened with extinction in the near future, although it does not currently qualify for the threatened status. The IUCN notes the importance of re-evaluating near-threatened taxon at appropriate intervals.

An endangered species recovery plan is a document describing the current status, threats and intended methods for increasing rare and endangered species population sizes. The U.S. Endangered Species Act of 1973 requires that all species considered endangered must have a plan implemented for their recovery, but the format is also useful when considering the conservation of any endangered species. Recovery plans act as a foundation from which you can build a conservation effort and they can help to make conservation more effective.

Critically endangered IUCN conservation category

A critically endangered (CR) species is one that has been categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.

The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada is an independent committee of wildlife experts and scientists whose "raison d'être is to identify species at risk" in Canada. It designates the conservation status of wild species.

A Regional Red List (RRL) is a report of the threatened status of species within a certain country or region. It is based on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, an inventory of the conservation status of species on a global scale. Regional Red Lists assess the risk of extinction to species within a political management unit and therefore may feed directly into national and regional planning. This project is coordinated by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and partners in national governments, universities and organizations throughout the world.

New Zealand Threat Classification System a system to assess the conservation priorities of New Zealand species

The New Zealand Threat Classification System is used by the Department of Conservation to assess conservation priorities of species in New Zealand.

Endangered species Species of organisms facing a very high risk of extinction

An endangered species is a species which has been categorized as very likely to become extinct in the near future. Endangered (EN), as categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, is the second most severe conservation status for wild populations in the IUCN's schema after Critically Endangered (CR). In 2012, the IUCN Red List featured 3,079 animal and 2,655 plant species as endangered (EN) worldwide. The figures for 1998 were 1,102 and 1,197 respectively. Many nations have laws that protect conservation-reliant species: for example, forbidding hunting, restricting land development or creating protected areas. Population numbers, trends and species' conservation status can be found at the lists of organisms by population.

Vulnerable species IUCN conservation category

A vulnerable species is one which has been categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as likely to become endangered unless the circumstances that are threatening its survival and reproduction improve.

Not evaluated IUCN Red List category

A not evaluated (NE) species is one which has been categorised under the IUCN Red List of threatened species as not yet having been assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

References

  1. Categories and Criteria The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  2. IUCN. (2012) IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1 Archived 2016-01-28 at the Wayback Machine Second edition. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. ISBN   9782831714356.
  3. "InfoNatura: About the Data: Conservation Status". NatureServe.org. 2007-04-10. Retrieved 2013-07-22.
  4. "Research Institute for Nature and Forest". Inbo.be. Archived from the original on 2008-12-01. Retrieved 2013-07-22.
  5. "Cosewic". Government of Canada, Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Archived from the original on 2013-05-30. Retrieved 2013-07-22..
  6. "Protecting species". Ymparisto.fi. Archived from the original on 2013-05-06. Retrieved 2013-07-22.
  7. "Threatened Species". Biodic.go.jp. Retrieved 2013-07-22.
  8. Townsend, Andrew J.; de Lange, Peter J.; Duffy, Clinton A.J.; Miskelly, Colin M.; Molloy, Janice; Norton, David A. (January 2008). New Zealand Threat Classification System manual (PDF). Wellington, New Zealand: Science & Technical Publishing Department of Conservation. ISBN   9780478143645 . Retrieved 2 February 2018.
  9. "Welcome to the official South African government online site! - South African Government" (PDF). Info.gov.za. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 June 2007. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
  10. "Seafood Recommendations: Our Seafood Ratings". Seafoodwatch.org. Archived from the original on 19 June 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  11. "Fish ratings". FishOnline. Marine Conservation Society. Retrieved March 28, 2013.