The IUCN Species Programme working with the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) has been assessing the conservation status of species, subspecies, varieties, and even selected subpopulations on a global scale for the past 50 years in order to highlight taxa threatened with extinction, and therefore promote their conservation.
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ is widely recognized as the most comprehensive, objective global approach for evaluating the conservation status of plant and animal species. From its small beginning, The IUCN Red List has grown in size and complexity and now plays an increasingly prominent role in guiding conservation activities of governments, NGOs and scientific institutions.
To date more than 76,000 species have been assessed for The IUCN Red List. This is an incredible achievement. However, our work is nowhere near complete. We need to more than double the number of wild species (plants, animals and fungi) assessed. Our new goal is 160,000 species by 2020. Meeting this goal will provide the most up-to-date indication of the health of the world’s biodiversity to guide critical conservation action. This is only achievable with support from people like you. Will you help?
The numbers of species listed in each category in The IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM change each time it is updated. This is a result of various factors, including species being assessed and added to The IUCN Red List for the first time, species being reassessed and moving into a different category of threat, and taxonomic revisions causing the total number of recognised species within a group to change. Summaries of the numbers of species in each Red List Category by taxonomic group and by country are provided here for the current version of The IUCN Red List.
A number of books and scientific articles related to The IUCN Red List have been produced by IUCN and its Red List Partners. Information on and, where possible, links to these publications are provided.
There is an ever growing number of web sites which have additional information on many of the species listed on The IUCN Red List. Some of the key sites are listed here.
Advice is provided on how to cite The IUCN Red List in general and how to cite individual assessments on the Red List.
The submission of comments, corrections and additional information are most welcome and should be sent to the IUCN Global Species Programme Red List Unit.