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IUCN Red List

From Academic Kids

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (also known as the "IUCN Red List" and "Red Data List"), created in 1963, is the world's most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species. It is maintained by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.

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.

Established upon a strong scientific base, the IUCN Red List is often recognised as the most authoritative guide to the status of biological diversity.

Contents

Current release

The latest update is the 2004 Red List, released on November 17, 2004. It evaluates 38,047 species as a whole, plus an additional 2,140 subspecies, varieties, aquatic stocks, and subpopulations.

From the species evaluated as a whole, 15,503 are considered threatened. Of these, 7,180 are animals, 8,321 are plants, and two are lichen.

This release lists 784 species extinctions recorded since 1500 CE. This is an increase of 18 from the 766 listed as of 2000. Each year a small number of 'extinct' species are either rediscovered or reclassified as 'data deficient'. In 2002, the extinction list dropped to 759 species, but has been rising ever since.

Categories

Species are classified in nine groups, set through criterias such as rate of decline, population size, area of geographic distribution, and degree of population and distribution fragmentation.

  • Extinct
  • Extinct in the Wild
  • Critically Endangered
  • Endangered
  • Vulnerable
  • Near Threatened
  • Least Concern
  • Data Deficient
  • Not Evaluated

The older 1994 criteria had eight categories. The "Lower Risk" category contained three subcategories: Near Threatened, Least Concern, and Conservation Dependent (now merged into Near Threatened). The Wikipedia conservation status categories are loosely based on these.

When discussing the IUCN Red List, the official term "threatened" is a grouping of three categories: Critically Endangered, Endangered, and Vulnerable.

See also

External link

References

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