Red list of endangered species

What is the significance of the Red List of Endangered Species?

The Red list of endangered species (short: Red List) refers to a published by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) at irregular annual intervals and compiled by scientists international expert report that documents all endangered species of flora and fauna. It is divided into several hazard categories that define the threat of each species in detail. In addition to the Red List published by the World Conservation Union, governments of various states as well as environmental protection organizations of individual regions are now issuing Red Lists that cover endangered species in geographically limited areas.

Meaning and historical background

Red Lists serve as important foundations for environmental protection organizations, research and conservation efforts at national and international level, but are only legally effective in a few countries, such as Switzerland. The hazard categories introduced by the IUCN, which have included ten stages from EX for "extinct" to NE for "not assessed" since 2001, have been adopted by many national associations of individual states for some years in order to achieve standardization, and thereby facilitate transnational research.
The IUCN, founded in France in 1948, published a Red List under the title "Red Data Book" in 1962, the first of which confined itself to the mention of a total of about 520 endangered bird and mammal species. In the following decades, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, mollusks and later plants and fungi were increasingly listed. Today, the Red List of Endangered Species already has well over 70,000 species, of which about 22,000 are in acute danger of extinction. The Red List is published annually and assesses progress and regression in species protection. However, with nearly eight thousand scientists working on behalf of the IUCN far from being able to monitor all types of animals and plants, the work focuses on tracking the most prominent developments and the most endangered and critically endangered creatures. More than ninety percent of all lemurs and eighty percent of the orchids belonging to the genus Cypripedium belong to this group today. The stocks of these groups have been limited to a few hundred copies for several years. Not only does the IUCN Red List inform about the acute threats to many species, but it also publishes important achievements in the field of species conservation, such as the successful reintroduction of animals and plants already considered extinct in nature.

The 10 endangerment categories of the World Conservation Union IUCN

extinct in nature
regionally extinct
threatened with extinction
highly endangered
potentially at risk
not endangered
insufficient data basis
not rated