Red Data Book

What is Red Data Book?

The Red Data Book is a public document that is created for recording endangered and rare species of plants, animals, fungi as well as some local subspecies that are present in a particular region.

The Red Data Book helps us in providing complete information for research, studies and also for monitoring the programs on rare and endangered species and their habitats.

This book is mainly created to identify and protect those species which are on the verge of extinction.

Red data Book

Brief History of the Red Data Book

The name of this book has its origins in Russia, it was originally known as the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation or the RDBRF. The book was based on research conducted between 1961 and 1964 by biologists in Russia. Hence, it is also called the Russian Red Data Book.

Currently, the International Union for Conservation of Nature maintains the Red Data Book. IUCN is the world’s most detailed inventory centre of the global conservation status of biological species. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) was founded in 1948 with an aim to maintain a complete record of every species that ever lived.

The Red Data Book contains the complete list of threatened species. The main aim behind this documentation is to provide complete information for research and analysis of different species.

The Red Data Book contains colour-coded information sheets, which are arranged according to the extinction risk of many species and subspecies.

  • Black represents species that are confirmed to be extinct.
  • Red represents species that are endangered
  • Amber for those species whose status is considered to be vulnerable
  • White is assigned for species that are rare
  • Green for species that were formerly endangered, but their numbers have started to recover
  • Grey coloured for the species that are classified as vulnerable, endangered, or rare but sufficient information is not available to be properly classified.

In a nutshell, the Red Data Book indexes species as:

  • Threatened
  • Not threatened
  • Unknown

Furthermore, The Red Data Book also has information as to why a species has become extinct along with the population trends and the extent of its range (distribution).

Also Read: Flagship Species

Advantages of the Red Data Book

  • It helps in identifying all animals, birds and other species about their conservation status.
  • It is used to evaluate the population of a particular species.
  • The data available in this book can be used to evaluate the taxa at the global level.
  • With the help of this book, we can estimate the risk of taxa becoming globally extinct.
  • Provides a framework or guidelines for implementing protective measures for endangered species.

Disadvantages of the Red Data Book

  • The information available in the Red Data Book is incomplete. Many species, both extinct and extant are not updated in this book.
  • The source of the book’s data has been speculated and has been mired in controversy.
  • This book maintains the complete record of all animals, plants, other species but it has no information about the microbes.

Red Data Book of India

Red Data Book of India includes the conservation status of animals and plants which are endemic to the Indian subcontinent. The data for this book is provided through surveys which are conducted by the Zoological Survey of India and the Botanical Survey of India under the guidance of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

Also Refer: Biodiversity

Critically endangered mammals as per the Red Data List of India include:

  • Kondana Rat
  • Malabar Civet
  • Kashmir Stag
  • River Dolphins

Critically endangered arthropods include:

  • Rameshwaram Parachute spider
  • Peacock Tarantula

Critically endangered fish include:

  • Pookode Lake barb
  • Ganges River shark
  • Pondicherry shark

Critically endangered amphibians and reptiles include:

  • Gharial
  • White-spotted bush frog
  • Toad-skinned frog

Also Read: Endangered species

Stay tuned with BYJU’S Biology to learn more about Red Data Book.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is a red data book?

Red data book is the document established by IUCN for documenting the rare and endangered species of plants, animals, fungi and also a few local species that exist within a state or country.


How is the red data book important?

Red data book is beneficial for providing detailed information for studies and researches. It also helps in monitoring programs on rare and endangered species. It thus helps in protecting the species that are on the verge of extinction.


The red data book is maintained by which organisation?

The red data book is maintained by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. This organization was founded in 1948 and works in the field of conservation of nature and sustainable use of natural resources.


How is the Red List different from the Red Data Book?

The red list contains only the names of the endangered species, however, the Red Data Book contains information about the species that are on the verge of extinction.


What is a green data book?

The green databook is a small pocket-sized book containing environmental data of more than 200 economies. It is based on world development indicators. Agriculture, forestry, biodiversity, pollution, and sanitation are the key indicators.


Which are the critically endangered species of India as per the Red Data List?

The critically endangered species of India are:

  • Kashmir Stag
  • River Dolphins
  • Kondana rat
  • Malabar Civet

What are vulnerable species?

Vulnerable species are those that are likely to become endangered in the near future. Vulnerability is mainly caused due to loss of habitat.

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