The IUCN Red Lists of Threatened Species


The IUCN Red Lists of Threatened Species are a compilation of plant or animal species categorized as Critically Endangered, Endangered, or Vulnerable according to the IUCN Categories of Threat. For the most part, categorizations with the newer 1994 IUCN criteria are made by the Species Survival Commission (SSC) Specialist Group covering the taxa in question. Guidelines for using the Red List criteria have been developed to assist Specialist Groups in assessing the conservation status of fishes. Future development of the Red List Programme will include further refinement of the Categories and development of guidelines for applying the Categories and criteria at the regional and national levels. Reports on the first two workshops are available on-line (Scoping Workshop March 1998 and Marine Workshop January 1999).

The two most recent IUCN Red Lists are the 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals, and the 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants.

The 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals is a landmark publication for two reasons:

The introductory sections of The 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals, including articles about the new Categories, analysis of the findings in this Red List, information on the sources and quality of data, and two guest essays, are posted here. The actual list of threatened animals is in a searchable database maintained by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre. The printed version of the 1996 Red List contains the list which was current at the time of printing (September 1996). The web version will be periodically updated in light of new information.

The 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants is also a landmark publication, as it is the first ever comprehensive listing of plants at a global scale. Assessing only vascular plants, analyses of the data in the 1997 IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants revealed that nearly 34,000 species are threatened with extinction. A Reviewer's Aid (in English and Spanish) which outlines the findings is available here. A searchable database of listings included in the publication is maintained by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

Copies of both publications are available from:
IUCN Publications Service Unit,
219c Huntingdon Road, Cambridge CB3 0DL, United Kingdom
E-mail: info@books.iucn.org
IUCN Publications can be ordered on line through our World Conservation Bookstore.


This page was last updated September 1999.

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