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FeaturesThe IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

Published: 5th Jan 2021 6:28 pm

Established in 1964, The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species. Let’s read more about IUCN and its work for conservation of endangered species worldwide…

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The IUCN Red List is a critical indicator of the health of the world’s biodiversity. Far more than a list of species and their status, it is a powerful tool to inform and catalyze action for biodiversity conservation and policy change, critical to protecting the natural resources we need to survive. It provides information about range, population size, habitat and ecology, use and/or trade, threats, and conservation actions that will help inform necessary conservation decisions.

Analysing threat

The IUCN Red List is a critical indicator of the health of the world’s biodiversity.Far more than a list of species and their status, it is a powerful tool to inform and catalyse action for biodiversity conservation and policy change, critical to protecting the natural resources we need to survive.

IUCN Red List provides information about range, population size, habitat and ecology, use and/or trade, threats, and conservation actions that will help inform necessary conservation decisions.

Helpful in conservation efforts

The IUCN Red List is used by government agencies, wildlife departments, conservation-related non-governmental organisations (NGOs), natural resource planners, educational organisations, students, and the business community.

The Red List process has become a massive enterprise involving the IUCN Global Species Program staff, partner organisations and experts in the IUCN Species Survival Commission and partner networks who compile the species information to make The IUCN Red List the indispensable product it is today.

To date, many species groups including mammals, amphibians, birds, reef building corals and conifers have been comprehensively assessed. As well as assessing newly recognized species, the IUCN Red List also re-assesses the status of some existing species, sometimes with positive stories to tell.

For example, good news such as the downlisting (i.e. improvement) of a number of species on the IUCN Red List categories scale, due to conservation efforts. The bad news, however, is that biodiversity is declining.

Currently, there are more than 128,500 species on The IUCN Red List, with more than 35,500 species threatened with extinction, including 40% of amphibians, 34% of conifers, 33% of reef building corals, 26% of mammals and 14% of birds.

IUCN declares 36 species as extinct in 2020

  • 15 freshwater fish species endemic to Lake Lanao and its outlet in the Philippines
  • Three Central American frog species
  • Lost Shark (listed as critically endangered / possibly extinct)
  • Three Macadamia species of protea (a genus of South African flowering plants) family
  • Nine Asian oak species.
  • All five freshwater dolphins species — Ganga, Amazon, Indus, Irrawaddy and Tucuxi

 IUCN Red List


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