|International Union for Conservation of Nature|
|Affiliations||Species Survival Commission, Birdlife International, Conservation International, NatureServe, Botanic Gardens Conservation International, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Texas A&M University, Sapienza University of Rome, Zoological Society of London, Wildscreen|
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species (also known as the IUCN Red List or Red Data Book), 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.
The IUCN Red List is set upon precise 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. The aim is to convey the urgency of conservation issues to the public and policy makers, as well as help the international community to try to reduce species extinction. According to IUCN the formally stated goals of the Red List are to provide scientifically based information on the status of species and subspecies at a global level, to draw attention to the magnitude and importance of threatened biodiversity, to influence national and international policy and decision-making, and to provide information to guide actions to conserve biological diversity.
Major species assessors include BirdLife International, the Institute of Zoology (the research division of the Zoological Society of London), the World Conservation Monitoring Centre, and many Specialist Groups within the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC). Collectively, assessments by these organizations and groups account for nearly half the species on the Red List.
The IUCN aims to have the category of every species re-evaluated at least every ten years, or every five years if possible. This is done in a peer reviewed manner through IUCN Species Survival Commission Specialist Groups, which are Red List Authorities responsible for a species, group of species or specific geographic area, or in the case of BirdLife International, an entire class (Aves).
The number of species which have been assessed for the Red List has been increasing over time.As of 2019, of 105,000 species surveyed, 28,338 are considered at risk of extinction because of human activity, in particular overfishing, hunting and land development.
The 1964 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants used the older pre-criteria Red List assessment system. Plants listed may not, therefore, appear in the current Red List. IUCN advise that it is best to check both the online Red List and the 1997 plants Red List publication.
The 2006 Red List, released on 4 May 2006 evaluated 40,168 species as a whole, plus an additional 2,160 subspecies, varieties, aquatic stocks, and subpopulations.
On 12 September 2007, the World Conservation Union (IUCN) released the 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. In this release, they have raised their classification of both the western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) and the Cross River gorilla (Gorilla gorilla diehli) from endangered to critically endangered, which is the last category before extinct in the wild, due to Ebola virus and poaching, along with other factors. Russ Mittermeier, chief of Swiss-based IUCN's Primate Specialist Group, stated that 16,306 species are endangered with extinction, 188 more than in 2006 (total of 41,415 species on the Red List). The Red List includes the Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii) in the Critically Endangered category and the Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) in the Endangered category.
The 2008 Red List was released on 6 October 2008 at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona and "confirmed an extinction crisis, with almost one in four [mammals] at risk of disappearing forever". The study shows at least 1,141 of the 5,487 mammals on Earth are known to be threatened with extinction, and 836 are listed as Data Deficient.
The Red List of 2012 was released 19 July 2012 at Rio+20 Earth Summit;nearly 2,000 species were added, with 4 species to the extinct list, 2 to the rediscovered list. The IUCN assessed a total of 63,837 species which revealed 19,817 are threatened with extinction. 3,947 were described as "critically endangered" and 5,766 as "endangered", while more than 10,000 species are listed as "vulnerable". At threat are 41% of amphibian species, 33% of reef-building corals, 30% of conifers, 25% of mammals, and 13% of birds. The IUCN Red List has listed 132 species of plants and animals from India as "Critically Endangered".
Comparison of Red list classes above
and NatureServe status below
Species are classified by the IUCN Red List into nine groups, 6specified through criteria such as rate of decline, population size, area of geographic distribution, and degree of population and distribution fragmentation. There is an emphasis on the acceptability of applying any criteria in the absence of high quality data including suspicion and potential future threats, "so long as these can reasonably be supported".:
In the IUCN Red List, "threatened" embraces the categories of Critically Endangered, Endangered, and Vulnerable.
The older 1994 list has only a single "Lower Risk" category which contained three subcategories:
In the 2001 framework, Near Threatened and Least Concern became their own categories, while Conservation Dependent was removed and its contents merged into Near Threatened.
The tag of "possibly extinct" (PE)is used by Birdlife International, the Red List Authority for birds for the IUCN Red List. BirdLife International has recommended PE become an official tag for Critically Endangered species, and this has now been adopted, along with a "Possibly Extinct in the Wild" tag for species with populations surviving in captivity but likely to be extinct in the wild (e.g. Spix's macaw).
There have been a number of versions, dating from 1991, including:
In 1997, the IUCN Red List received criticism on the grounds of secrecy (or at least poor documentation) surrounding the sources of its data.These allegations have led to efforts by the IUCN to improve its documentation and data quality, and to include peer reviews of taxa on the Red List. The list is also open to petitions against its classifications, on the basis of documentation or criteria.
It has been suggested that the IUCN Red List and similar works are prone to misuse by governments and other groups that draw possibly inappropriate conclusions on the state of the environment or to affect exploitation of natural resources.
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.
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.
A least-concern species is a species that 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.
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.
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.
An IUCN Red List Critically Endangered (CR) species is one that has been categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild. As of 2021, there are 6,811 species that are considered to be Critically Endangered. This is out of the 120,372 species currently tracked by the IUCN.
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.
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.
The Rio Branco antbird is a bird species in the family Thamnophilidae. It is found in Brazil (Roraima) and Guyana. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist shrubland. It is severely threatened by habitat loss.
Rapanea seychellarum, also known as Bwa Klate, is a species of plant in the family Primulaceae. It is endemic to Seychelles. It is sometimes considered to be a synonym of Rapanea melanophloeos, a mainland African species.
The New Zealand Threat Classification System is used by the Department of Conservation to assess conservation priorities of species in New Zealand.
An endangered species is a species that is very likely to become extinct in the near future, either worldwide or in a particular political jurisdiction. Endangered species may be at risk due to factors such as habitat loss, poaching and invasive species. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List lists the global conservation status of many species, and various other agencies assess the status of species within particular areas. Many nations have laws that protect conservation-reliant species which, for example, forbid hunting, restrict land development, or create protected areas. Some endangered species are the target of extensive conservation efforts such as captive breeding and habitat restoration.
A vulnerable species is a species 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.
A not evaluated (NE) species is one which has been categorized under the IUCN Red List of threatened species as not yet having been assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Endangered species as classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), are species which have been categorized as very likely to become extinct in the near future. On the IUCN Red List, endangered 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.
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