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.
More than 77,300 species have been assessed on the IUCN Red List.
IUCN Red List 2019:- Download PDF Here
As per the latest information from the IUCN Red List 2019:
- 41% of the amphibians are threatened
- 33% fo the coral-reefs are in the threatened category
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 based upon precise criteria to evaluate the rate of extinction of thousands of species and subspecies. These criteria are relevant to all species and all regions of the world.
The IUCN red list provides taxonomic data, conservation status, and distribution information on species that are facing a high risk of global extinction.
This is an important topic for UPSC and other government exams.
Objectives of IUCN
The International Union for Conservation of Nature works to achieve the following goals:
- To provide scientific data on the status of species and subspecies at a global level.
- To address the factors of concern and spread awareness regarding the species and biodiversity extinction.
- To plan a layout for the conservation of biodiversity.
IUCN Red List Users
The IUCN Red List provides accurate data on the status of different species on the Earth. This information is used by various departments, institutes, and organizations.
The users of the IUCN Red List are given below:
- Government agencies (National & International)
- Wildlife organizations and departments
- Conservation-related NGOs
- Natural resource planners
- Educational organizations
- Zoos and aquariums
- Business communities
Purpose of the IUCN Red List Data
The information cited in the IUCN Red List is used by various organizations in the following ways:
- International Agreements such as CITES, Ramsar Convention use the Red List data to make important decisions in sync with the status of nature as and when required.
- World Bank Group performance standard uses the IUCN Red List data to evaluate the risk of damage to biodiversity due to large-scale infrastructures and global projects.
- Zoos and National parks use this information to upgrade important policies like parks regulations from time to time.
Following are the 9 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
List of critically endangered species in India as per IUCN Red List 2019
The list of critically endangered species in India from various categories are given below:
Critically Endangered Mammals
- Pygmy Hog
- Andaman White-toothed Shrew
- Jenkin’s Andaman Spiny Shrew
- Nicobar White-tailed Shrew
- Kondana Rat
- Large Rock Rat or Elvira Rat
- Namdapha Flying Squirrel
- Malabar Civet
- Sumatran Rhinoceros
- Javan Rhinoceros
Critically Endangered Birds
- Aythya baeri
- Forest Owlet
- Great Indian Bustard
- Bengal Florican
- Siberian Crane
- Spoon-billed Sandpiper
- Sociable Lapwing
- Jerdon’s Courser
- White-backed Vulture
- Red-headed Vulture
- White-bellied Heron
- Slender-billed Vulture
- Indian Vulture
- Pink-headed Duck
- Himalayan Quail
Critically Endangered Reptiles
- Hawksbill Turtle
- Leatherback Turtle
- River Terrapin
- Bengal Roof Turtle
- Sispara day gecko
Critically Endangered Fishes
- Pondicherry Shark
- Ganges Shark
- Knife-tooth Sawfish
- Large-tooth Sawfish
- Narrow-snout Sawfish
IUCN Red List 2019:- Download PDF Here
IUCN Conservation Plan for 2020
The strategy for the conservation of nature by IUCN is as follows:
- Assess – Focus on monitoring species and informing the world about the status and trends of biodiversity, thus providing measures for the protection of our biosphere.
- Plan – Aims to enhance collaborative and science-based strategies to ensure the most effective species conservation actions.
- Act – Improve the status of biodiversity, by mobilizing actions involving governments, educational institutions, civil society, and the private sector.
- Communicate – The effectiveness of IUCN’s species conservation work is enhanced through strategic and targeted communications.