Critically endangered

Last updated
Conservation status
Bufo periglenes2.jpg
Lower Risk

Other categories

Related topics

Status iucn3.1.svg
Comparison of Red list classes above
and NatureServe status below
Status TNC.svg

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. [1]


As of 2014, there are 2,464 animal and 2,104 plant species with this assessment. [2]

As the IUCN Red List does not consider a species extinct until extensive, targeted surveys have been conducted, species that are possibly extinct are still listed as critically endangered. IUCN maintains a list [3] of "possibly extinct" CR(PE) and "possibly extinct in the wild" CR(PEW) species, modelled on categories used by BirdLife International to categorize these taxa.

Criteria for Critically endangered species

To be defined as critically endangered in the Red List, a species must meet any of the following criteria (A–E) ("3G/10Y" signifies three generations or ten years—whichever is longer—over a maximum of 100 years; "MI" signifies Mature Individuals): [4]

A: Population size reduction
1. If the reasons for population reduction no longer occur and can be reversed, the population needs to have been reduced by at least 90%
2. 3. and 4. If not, then the population needs to have been reduced by at least 80%
B: Occurring over less than 100 km2 OR the area of occupancy is less than 10 km2
1. Severe habitat fragmentation or existing at just one location
2. Decline in extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, area/extent/quality of habitat, number of locations/subpopulations, or amount of MI.
3. Extreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of locations/subpopulations, or amount of MI.
C: Declining population of less than 250 MI and either:
1. A decline of 25% over 3G/10Y;
2. Extreme fluctuations, or over 90% of MI in a single subpopulation, or no more than 50 MI in any one subpopulation.
D: Numbers less than 50 MI.
E: At least 50% chance of going Extinct in the Wild over 3G/10Y.

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.

Conservation status Indication of the chance of a species extinction, regardless of authority used

The conservation status of a group of organisms 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.

Version 2014.2 of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species identified 4574 Critically Endangered species, subspecies and varieties, stocks and subpopulations.

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.

Extinct in the wild IUCN conservation category

A species that is extinct in the wild (EW) is one that has been categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as known only by living members kept in captivity or as a naturalized population outside its historic range due to massive habitat loss.

Boucardicus fortistriatus is a species of land snail with an operculum, a terrestrial gastropod mollusk in the family Cyclophoridae.

Christmas Island shrew species of mammal

The Christmas Island shrew, also known as the Christmas Island musk-shrew is an extremely rare or possibly extinct shrew from Christmas Island. It was variously placed as subspecies of the Asian gray shrew or the Southeast Asian shrew, but morphological differences and the large distance between the species indicate that it is an entirely distinct species.

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.

The Cantabrian capercaillie is a subspecies of the western capercaillie in the grouse family Tetraonidae. It is one of two subspecies found in Spain.

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.



  1. "IUCN RED LIST CATEGORIES AND CRITERIA" (PDF). 2000-02-09. Retrieved 2018-02-06.
  2. IUCN (2014). "Table 2: Changes in numbers of species in the threatened categories (CR, EN, VU) from 1996 to 2014 (IUCN Red List version 2014.2) for the major taxonomic groups on the Red List" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-08-30.
  3. "Summary Statistics". Retrieved 2017-12-10.
  4. IUCN (February 2014). "Guidelines for Using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria" (PDF). Retrieved 10 December 2018.