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The
International Union for Conservation of Nature The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN; officially International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) is an international organization An international organization (also known as an international institut ...
(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 Conservation is the preservation or efficient use of resources, or the conservation of various quantities under physical laws. Conservation may also refer to: Environment and natural resources * Nature conservation, the protection and manageme ...
status of
biological species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individu ...

biological species
. It uses a set of precise criteria to evaluate the
extinction Extinction is the termination of a kind of organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biol ...

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 List A Regional Red List is a report of the threatened status of species within a certain country or region. It is based on the IUCN Red List The International Union for Conservation of Nature The International Union for Conservation of Nature ...
s are produced by countries or organizations, which assess the risk of extinction to species within a political management unit. The aim of the
IUCN The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN; officially International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) is an international organization An international organization (also known as an international institut ...
Red List is to convey the urgency of conservation issues to the public and policy makers, as well as help the international community to reduce species extinction. According to
IUCN The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN; officially International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) is an international organization An international organization (also known as an international institut ...
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 BirdLife International is a global partnership of non-governmental organization A non-governmental organization, or simply an NGO, is an organization that is, generally, formed independent from government. They are typically nonprofit organ ...
, the
Institute of Zoology An institute is an organisational body created for a certain purpose. They are often research Research is "creativity, creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge". It involves the collection, organization, ...
(the research division of the
Zoological Society of London The Zoological Society of London (ZSL) is a charity devoted to the worldwide and their . It was founded in 1826. History On 29 November 1822, the birthday of , "the father of modern zoology", a meeting held in the in Soho Square led by R ...

Zoological Society of London
), the
World Conservation Monitoring CentreThe UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) is an collaboration centre of UN Environment Programme, based in Cambridge Cambridge ( ) is a College town, university city and the county town of Cambridgeshire, Engl ...
, 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 review Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competencies as the producers of the work ( peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a profession within the relevant field Field may r ...
ed 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 BirdLife International is a global partnership of non-governmental organization A non-governmental organization, or simply an NGO, is an organization that is, generally, formed independent from government. They are typically nonprofit organ ...
, an entire class (
Aves Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With ...

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 Overfishing is the removal of a species of fish Fish are Aquatic animal, aquatic, craniate, gill-bearing animals that lack Limb (anatomy), limbs with Digit (anatomy), digits. Included in this definition are the living hagfish, lampreys, an ...
,
hunting Hunting is the practice of seeking, pursuing and capturing or killing wildlife Wildlife traditionally refers to undomesticated animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular A multicellular organism is an organism ...

hunting
and
land development Land development is altering the landscape in any number of ways such as: * Changing landforms from a natural or semi-natural state for a purpose such as agriculture or House, housing * subdivision (land), Subdividing real estate into Lot (real est ...
.


History


1964 Red List of Threatened Plants

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.


2006 release

The 2006 Red List, released on 4 May 2006 evaluated 40,168 species as a whole, plus an additional 2,160
subspecies In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interacti ...
,
varieties Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety, the set of solutions of a system of polynomial equations * Variety (universal algebra), classes of algebraic structures defined by equations in universal algebra Hort ...
, aquatic
stocks Stocks are feet restraining devices that were used as a form of and . Form and application The stocks, , and pranger each consist of large wooden boards with hinges; however, the stocks are distinguished by their restraint of the feet. The s ...
, and
subpopulation In statistics Statistics is the discipline that concerns the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data. In applying statistics to a scientific, industrial, or social problem, it is conventional to begin with ...
s.


2007 release

On 12 September 2007, the
World Conservation Union The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN; officially International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) is an international organization An international organization (also known as an international institut ...
(IUCN) released the 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. In this release, they have raised their classification of both the
western lowland gorilla The western lowland gorilla (''Gorilla gorilla gorilla'') is one of two Critically Endangered subspecies of the western gorilla The western gorilla (''Gorilla gorilla'') is a great ape—the type species as well as the most populous species o ...

western lowland gorilla
(''Gorilla gorilla gorilla'') and the
Cross River gorilla#REDIRECT Cross River gorilla The Cross River gorilla (''Gorilla gorilla diehli'') is a subspecies of the western gorilla (''Gorilla gorilla''). It was named a new species in 1904 by Paul Matschie, a mammalian taxonomist working at the Humboldt Uni ...

Cross River gorilla
(''Gorilla gorilla diehli'') from
endangered An endangered species is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group ...

endangered
to critically endangered, which is the last category before
extinct in the wild A that is extinct in the wild (EW) is one that has been by the as known only by living members kept in or as a naturalized population outside its historic range due to massive . Examples Examples of species and subspecies that are extin ...
, due to
Ebola virus Ebola, also known as Ebola virus disease (EVD) and Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF), is a viral hemorrhagic fever Viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) are a diverse group of animal and human illness A disease is a particular abnormal c ...

Ebola virus
and
poaching Poaching has been defined as the illegal hunting Hunting is the practice of seeking, pursuing and capturing or killing wildlife or feral animals. The most common reasons for humans to hunt are to harvest useful animal products (meat, fur/h ...
, along with other factors. Russ Mittermeier, chief of
Swiss Swiss may refer to: * the adjectival form of Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial ...

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 The Sumatran orangutan (''Pongo abelii'') is one of the three species of orangutan Orangutans are great apes native to the rainforests of Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links= ...
(''Pongo abelii'') in the Critically Endangered category and the
Bornean orangutan The Bornean orangutan (''Pongo pygmaeus'') is a species of orangutan native to the island of Borneo. Together with the Sumatran orangutan (''Pongo abelii'') and Tapanuli orangutan (''Pongo tapanuliensis''), it belongs to the only genus of great ape ...
(''Pongo pygmaeus'') in the Endangered category.


2008 release

The 2008 Red List was released on 6 October 2008 at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in
Barcelona Barcelona ( , , ) is a city on the coast of northeastern Spain. It is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. With a population of 1.6 million within ci ...

Barcelona
and "confirmed an extinction crisis, with almost one in four ammalsat 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#REDIRECT Data deficient {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from move {{R from other capitalisation ...
.


2012 release

The Red List of 2012 was released 19 July 2012 at
Rio+20 Earth Summit
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".


Categories

Species are classified by the IUCN Red List into nine groups, specified 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". *
Extinct Extinction is the termination of a kind of organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biol ...

Extinct
(EX) – beyond reasonable doubt that the species is no longer extant. *
Extinct in the wild A that is extinct in the wild (EW) is one that has been by the as known only by living members kept in or as a naturalized population outside its historic range due to massive . Examples Examples of species and subspecies that are extin ...
(EW) – survives only in captivity, cultivation and/or outside native range, as presumed after exhaustive surveys. * Critically endangered (CR) – in a particularly and extremely critical state. *
Endangered An endangered species is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group ...
(EN) – very high risk of extinction in the wild, meets any of criteria A to E for Endangered. *
Vulnerable Vulnerable may refer to: General *Vulnerability *Vulnerability (computing) *Vulnerable adult *Vulnerable species Music Albums *Vulnerable (Marvin Gaye album), ''Vulnerable'' (Marvin Gaye album), 1997 *Vulnerable (Tricky album), ''Vulnerable'' (T ...
(VU) – meets one of the 5 red list criteria and thus considered to be at high risk of unnatural (human-caused) extinction without further human intervention. *
Near threatened A near-threatened species is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest gr ...
(NT) – close to being endangered in the near future. *
Least concern A least-concern species is a species that has been Conservation status, categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as evaluated as not being a focus of species conservation because the specific species is still plenti ...
(LC) – unlikely to become endangered or extinct in the near future. *
Data deficient#REDIRECT Data deficient {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from move {{R from other capitalisation ...
(DD) *
Not evaluated A not evaluated (NE) species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organ ...
(NE) In the IUCN Red List, "
threatened Threatened Species are any species (including animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals Heterotroph, consume org ...
" embraces the categories of Critically Endangered, Endangered, and Vulnerable.


1994 categories and 2001 framework

The older 1994 list has only a single "Lower Risk" category which contained three subcategories: *
Conservation Dependent A conservation-dependent species is a species which has been conservation status, categorised as "Conservation Dependent" ("LR/cd") by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), i.e. as dependent on conservation efforts to prevent ...
(LR/cd) *
Near Threatened A near-threatened species is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest gr ...
(LR/nt) *
Least Concern A least-concern species is a species that has been Conservation status, categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as evaluated as not being a focus of species conservation because the specific species is still plenti ...
(LR/lc) 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''.


Possibly extinct

The tag of "possibly extinct" (PE) is used by
Birdlife International BirdLife International is a global partnership of non-governmental organization A non-governmental organization, or simply an NGO, is an organization that is, generally, formed independent from government. They are typically nonprofit organ ...
, 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 Spix's macaw (''Cyanopsitta spixii''), also known as the little blue macaw, is a macaw native to Brazil. It is a member of tribe Arini (tribe), Arini in the subfamily Arinae (Neotropical parrots), part of the family (biology), family Psittacida ...
).


Versions

There have been a number of versions, dating from 1991, including: * Version 1.0 (1991) * Version 2.0 (1992) * Version 2.1 (1993) * Version 2.2 (1994) * Version 2.3 (1994) * Version 3.0 (1999) * Version 3.1 (2001) All new IUCN assessments since 2001 have used version 3.1 of the categories and criteria.


Criticism

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 The exploitation of natural resources is the use of natural resource Natural resources are resource Resource refers to all the materials available in our environment which help us to satisfy our needs and wants. Resources can broadly be c ...
.


See also

*
CITES CITES (shorter name for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, also known as the Washington Convention) is a multilateral treaty A multilateral treaty is a treaty to which two or more sovereign stat ...

CITES
*
Conservation status The conservation status of a group of organisms (for instance, a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A spec ...
*
Red List Index Summary of 2006 IUCN Red List categories. The ''Red List Index (RLI)'', based on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, is an indicator of the changing state of global biodiversity. It defines the conservation status of major species groups, ...
*
Regional Red List A Regional Red List is a report of the threatened status of species within a certain country or region. It is based on the IUCN Red List The International Union for Conservation of Nature The International Union for Conservation of Nature ...
* Species by IUCN Red List category *
Wildlife conservation Wildlife conservation refers to the practice of protecting wild species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is ...


References


Bibliography

*Hilton-Taylor, C. A history of the IUCN DATA Book and Redlis

Retrieved 2012-5-11. * *IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, 2009
Summary Statistics
Retrieved 2009-12-19. *IUCN
1994 IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria version 2.3
Retrieved 2009-12-19. *IUCN
2001 IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria version 3.1
Retrieved 2009-12-19. *Rodrigues, A.S.L., Pilgrim, J.D., Lamoreux, J.F., Hoffmann, M. & Brooks, T.M. 2006
The value of the IUCN Red List for conservation
Trends in Ecology & Evolution 21(2): 71–76. *Sharrock, S. and Jones, M. 2009
Conserving Europe's threatened plants
– Report on the lack of a European Red List and the creation of a consolidated list of the threatened plants of Europe. Retrieved 2011-03-23.


External links

* {{DEFAULTSORT:Iucn Red List IUCN Red List, Biological databases Biota by conservation status system . .Red List Lists of biota 1963 in the environment Species described in 1963