IUCN Red List

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (also known as the IUCN Red List or Red Data List), founded in 1964, is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is the world’s main authority on the conservation status of species. A series of Regional Red Lists are produced by countries or organizations, which assess the risk of extinction to species within a political management unit. 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 concept was in the news recently. 

The IUCN red list provides taxonomic data, conservation status, and distribution information on species that are facing a high risk of global extinction. Founded in the year 1964, this list is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species. India has 988 species on the IUCN red list.

Following are the 8 categories in the IUCN red list:

  • Extinct (EX) – No known individuals remaining.
  • Extinct in the wild (EW) – Known only to survive in captivity, or as a naturalized population outside its historic range.
  • Critically endangered (CR) – Extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.
  • Endangered (EN) – High risk of extinction in the wild.
  • Vulnerable (VU) – High risk of endangerment in the wild.
  • Near threatened (NT) – Likely to become endangered in the near future.
  • Least concern (LC) – Lowest risk. Does not qualify for a more at-risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category.
  • Data deficient (DD) – Not enough data to make an assessment of its risk of extinction.
  • Not evaluated (NE) – Has not yet been evaluated against the criteria