The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (also known as the IUCN Red List or Red Data List), founded in 1965, has evolved to become 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 List 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 the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) (1996), the formally stated goals of the Red List are (1) to provide scientifically based information on the status of species and subspecies at a global level, (2) to draw attention to the magnitude and importance of threatened biodiversity, (3) to influence national and international policy and decision-making, and (4) 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 every five years if possible, or at least every ten years. This is done in a peer reviewed manner through IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) 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).
As of 2018, 26,197 species are now classified as vulnerable, critical or endangered.
|The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species|
|International Union for Conservation of Nature|
|Affiliations||Species Survival Commission, Birdlife International, Conservation International, NatureServe, Botanic Gardens Conservation International, Royal Botanic Gardens, Texas A&M University, Sapienza University of Rome, Zoological Society of London, Wildscreen|
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.
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 "has 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."
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.":6
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).
For plants, the 1997 Red List is the most important source.
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. A Nature editorial defended the Red List's relevance in October 2008.
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 effect exploitation of natural resources.
The Banka shrew (Crocidura vosmaeri) is a species of mammal in the family Soricidae. It is only known from the Bangka Island in Indonesia and possibly Sumatra. It lives in primary and secondary lowland forest and it is not clear if can adapt to human settlements such as plantations. It is threatened by forest loss for logging, expanding plantations such as palm oil and mining.Chinese white-toothed shrew
The Chinese white-toothed shrew (Crocidura rapax) is a species of mammal in the family Soricidae.Conservation-dependent species
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.
The category is part of the IUCN 1994 Categories & Criteria (version 2.3), which is no longer used in evaluation of taxa, but persists in the IUCN Red List for taxa evaluated prior to 2001, when version 3.1 was first used. Using the 2001 (v3.1) system these taxa are classed as near threatened, but those that have not been re-evaluated remain with the "Conservation Dependent" category.
As of December 2015, there remains 209 conservation-dependent plant species and 29 conservation-dependent animal species.
Examples of conservation-dependent species include the black caiman (Melanosuchus niger), the sinarapan, the California ground cricket, and the flowering plant Garcinia hermonii.Conservation status
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.Critically endangered
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.As of 2014, there are 2,464 animal and 2,104 plant species with this assessment.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 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.Data deficient
A data deficient (DD) species is one which has been categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as offering insufficient information for a proper assessment of conservation status to be made. This does not necessarily indicate that the species has not been extensively studied; but it does indicate that little or no information is available on the abundance and distribution of the species.
The IUCN recommends that care be taken to avoid classing species as "data deficient" when the absence of records may indicate dangerously low abundance: "If the range of a taxon is suspected to be relatively circumscribed, if a considerable period of time has elapsed since the last record of the taxon, threatened status may well be justified" (see also precautionary principle).Endangered species
An endangered species is a species which has been categorized as very likely to become extinct. 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, respectively, 1,102 and 1,197.
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.Extinct in the wild
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.Hainan Island shrew
The Hainan Island shrew (Crocidura wuchihensis) is a species of mammal in the family Soricidae native to China and Vietnam. The IUCN has insufficient data to assess the level of population and its trend.Himalayan serow
The Himalayan serow (Capricornis thar) is a goat-antelope native to the eastern Himalayas and eastern and southeastern Bangladesh. It is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List because the population is considered to be declining due to habitat loss and hunting for its meat.Least-concern species
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 (before 2001) conservation dependent.
Species cannot be assigned the Least Concern category unless they have had their population status evaluated. That is, adequate information is needed to make a direct, or indirect, assessment of its risk of extinction based on its distribution or population status.
Since 2001 the category has had the abbreviation "LC", following the IUCN 2001 Categories & Criteria (version 3.1). However, around 20% of least concern taxa (3261 of 15636) in the IUCN database use the code "LR/lc", which indicates they have not been re-evaluated since 2000. Before 2001 "least concern" was a subcategory of the "Lower Risk" category and assigned the code "LR/lc" or lc.
While "least concern" is not considered a red listed category by the IUCN, the 2006 IUCN Red List still assigns the category to 15636 taxa. The number of animal species listed in this category totals 14033 (which includes several undescribed species such as a frog from the genus Philautus). There are also 101 animal subspecies listed and 1500 plant taxa (1410 species, 55 subspecies, and 35 varieties). There are also two animal subpopulations listed: the Australasian and Southern African subpopulations of spiny dogfish. No fungi or protista have the classification, though only four species in those kingdoms have been evaluated by the IUCN. Humans qualify for this category, and in 2008 were formally assessed as such by the IUCN.List of birds by population
This is a list of bird species by global population, divided by bird classification. While numbers are estimates, they have been made by the experts in their fields. For more information on how these estimates were ascertained, see Wikipedia's articles on population biology and population ecology. Contributing organizations include the IUCN, BirdLife International, and Partners in Flight.
This list is incomplete, because experts have not estimated all bird numbers. For example, the spectacled flowerpecker was only discovered in 2010, and has yet to be classified with a Linnean name, but would add to the other 73 new bird species described by ornithologists from 2000 – 2009. Global population estimates for many of these at this time would lack accuracy.
All numbers are estimates, because they are taken by observation, and a given number of 50 slender-billed curlews does not necessarily mean there are 10 more of this species than the black stilt, which has been estimated at 40: there is a possibility that the latter species has a larger population than the former. This list should not be taken that literally. An estimate of 250 shore dotterels compared with 4,500 – 5,000 wrybills, on the other hand, means that the latter has well over one order of magnitude more individuals than the former. The wrybill only has approximately one tenth the population of great skuas (48,000), which are outnumbered ~10:1 by the pigeon guillemot (470,000). It is these large differences between species that this list tries to convey.List of threatened sharks
Threatened sharks are those vulnerable to endangerment (extinction) in the near future. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is the world's oldest global environmental organization. It evaluates threatened species, and treats threatened species not as a single category, but as a group of three categories, depending on the degree to which they are threatened:
Critically endangered speciesThe term threatened strictly refers to these three categories (critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable), while vulnerable is used to refer to the least at risk of these categories. The terms can be used somewhat interchangeably, as all vulnerable species are threatened, all endangered species are vulnerable and threatened, and all critically endangered species are endangered, vulnerable and threatened. Threatened species are also referred to as a red-listed species, as they are listed in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Shark species are increasingly becoming threatened because of commercial and recreational fishing pressures, the impact of non-shark fisheries on the seabed and shark prey species, and other habitat alterations such as damage and loss from coastal development and marine pollution. Rising demands for shark products has increased pressure on shark fisheries, but little monitoring or management occurs of most fisheries. Major declines in shark stocks have been recorded over the past few decades; some species had declined over 90% and population declines of 70% were not unusual by 1998. In particular, harvesting young sharks before they reproduce severely impacts future populations. Sharks generally reach sexual maturity only after many years and produce few offspring in comparison to other fish species.Conservationists estimate that up to 100 million sharks are killed by commercial and recreational fishing every year. Sharks are often killed for shark fin soup, which some Asian countries regard as a status symbol. Fishermen capture live sharks, fin them, and dump the finless animal back into the water to die from suffocation or predators. Sharks are also killed for their flesh in Europe and elsewhere. The 2007 film Sharkwater documents ways in which sharks are being hunted to extinction. In 2009, the IUCN Shark Specialist Group reported on the conservation status of pelagic (open water) sharks and rays. They found that over half the pelagic sharks targeted by high-seas fisheries were threatened with extinction.In 2010, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) rejected proposals from the United States and Palau that would have required countries to strictly regulate trade in several species of hammerhead, oceanic whitetip and dogfish sharks. The majority, but not the required two-thirds of voting delegates, approved the proposal. China, by far the world's largest shark consumer, and Japan, which battles all attempts to extend the Convention's protections to marine species, led the opposition.In 2013, CITES member nations overcame the continued opposition led by China and Japan, and reversed course. In what CITES has called a "milestone", the oceanic whitetip, porbeagle, and three species of hammerheads will now join the great white, basking and whale shark on CITES Appendix II, effective September 2014. International trade of these species is thus prohibited without CITES permits, "... and evidence will have to be provided that they are harvested sustainably and legally."In 2014 the state government of Western Australia led by Premier Colin Barnett implemented a policy of killing large sharks. The policy is intended to protect users of the marine environment from shark attack following the deaths of seven people on the Western Australian coastline in the years 2010 to 2013. Baited drum lines are deployed near popular beaches using hooks designed to catch the vulnerable great white shark, as well as bull and tiger sharks. Large sharks found hooked but still alive are shot and their bodies discarded at sea. The government claims they are not culling sharks, but are using a "targeted, localised, hazard mitigation strategy". Barnett has described opposition to killing the sharks as "ludicrous" and "extreme", and said that nothing can change his mind.Lists of IUCN Red List critically endangered species
Version 2014.2 of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species identified 4574 Critically Endangered species, subspecies and varieties, stocks and subpopulations.
For IUCN lists of critically endangered species by kingdom, see:
Animals (kingdom Animalia) — IUCN Red List Critically Endangered species (Animalia)
Amphibians — List of critically endangered amphibians
Birds — List of critically endangered birds
Fish — List of critically endangered fishes
Invertebrates — List of critically endangered invertebrates
Arthropods — List of critically endangered arthropods
Insects — List of critically endangered insects
Molluscs List of critically endangered molluscs
Mammals — List of critically endangered mammals
Reptiles — List of critically endangered reptiles
Fungi (kingdom Fungi) — List of fungi by conservation status
Plants (kingdom Plantae) — List of critically endangered plants
Protists (kingdom Protista) — List of Chromista by conservation statusLists of IUCN Red List endangered species
On 29 January 2010, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species identified 5220 (2754 Animalia, 1 Fungi, 2464 Plantae, 1 Protista) endangered species, subspecies and varieties, stocks and sub-populations.
For IUCN lists of endangered species by kingdom, see:
Animals (kingdom Animalia) — IUCN Red List endangered species (Animalia)
Amphibians — List of endangered amphibians
Birds — List of endangered birds
Fish — List of endangered fish
Invertebrates — List of endangered invertebrates
Arthropods — List of endangered arthropods
Insects — List of endangered insects
Molluscs List of endangered molluscs
Mammals — List of endangered mammals
Reptiles — List of endangered reptiles
Fungi (kingdom Fungi) — IUCN Red List endangered species (Fungi)
Plants (kingdom Plantae) — IUCN Red List endangered species (Plantae)
Protists (kingdom Protista) — IUCN Red List endangered species (Protista)Mossy forest shrew
The mossy forest shrew (Crocidura musseri) is a species of shrew native to Indonesia.Near-threatened species
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.
The rationale used for near-threatened taxa usually includes the criteria of vulnerable which are plausible or nearly met, such as reduction in numbers or range. Near-threatened species evaluated from 2001 onwards may also be ones which are dependent on conservation efforts to prevent their becoming threatened, whereas prior to this conservation-dependent species were given a separate category ("Conservation Dependent").
Additionally, the 402 conservation-dependent taxa may also be considered near-threatened.Voracious shrew
The voracious shrew (Crocidura vorax) is a common and widespread species of shrew native to China, India, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam.Vulnerable species
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.
Vulnerability is mainly caused by habitat loss or destruction of the species home. Vulnerable habitat or species are monitored and can become increasingly threatened. Some species listed as "vulnerable" may be common in captivity, an example being the military macaw.
There are currently 5196 animals and 6789 plants classified as vulnerable, compared with 1998 levels of 2815 and 3222, respectively. Practices such as Cryoconservation of animal genetic resources have been enforced in efforts to conserve vulnerable breeds of livestock specifically.
Template: Threatened species by region
|IUCN Red List|
1 Pre-2001 categories and subcategories shown in italics.