IUCN Red List of Threatened Species TM

The IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM, known as the IUCN Red List, is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal 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.

The overall aim of the Red List is to convey the urgency and scale of conservation problems to the public and policy makers, and to motivate the global community to reduce species extinctions.

The IUCN Red List is an important tool in conservation work. It does not only evaluate the extinction risk of a species, but also provides important background information of the status of the species in a global or regional perspective. In this regard, the periodically assessment process for the IUCN Red List is important to define improvements and aggraviations of a species' situation and thus helps to define the most urgent conservation measures.

The starting point for conservation action PDF

Who uses the IUCN Red List?

The IUCN Red List is used by government agencies, wildlife departments, conservation-related non-governmental organizations (NGOs), natural resource planners, educational organizations, and many others interested in reversing, or at least halting the decline in biodiversity.

Uses of the IUCN Red List

• draws attention to the magnitude and importance of threatened biodiversity;

• identifies and documents those species most in need of conservation action;

• provides a global index of the decline of biodiversity;

• establishes a baseline from which to monitor the future status of species;

• provides information to help establish conservation priorities at the local level and guide conservation action;

• helps influence national and international policy, and provides information to international agreements such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

The IUCN Red List can answer commonly asked questions such as:

• How threatened is a particular species or subspecies?

• What are the threats to a species?

• How many threatened species occur in a given country?

• How many known extinctions have there been?


The IUCN Red List explained PDF