Documents on The IUCN Red List and the Assessment Process

General Documents:

The Starting Point For Conservation. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™






The IUCN Red List List of Threatened SpeciesTM  Strategic Plan 2013-2020.

This document outlines the agreed startegic priorities for the IUCN Red List to the year 2020.






Assessment Process:

IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1 (2nd edition 2012)

The current version of the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. This is the main rule-bookfor assessing the extinction risk of species for inclusion on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.


Available in EnglishFrançaisEspañol. Click here for additional translations.



Guidelines for Using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria (ver. 13 March 2017)

Detailed guidance on how to apply the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria, including explanations of the terms used in the criteria and advice on applying the criteria to different taxonomic groups. These guidelines are regularly updated and assessors are strongly advised to check they have the current version of the guidelines before embarking on extinction risk assessments.

The guidelines mention the availability of two workbooks for making some of the calculatings required in an assessments, available here:


Guidelines for Application of IUCN Red List Criteria at Regional and National Levels: Version 4.0 (2012)

Guidance on how to apply the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria at sub-global levels for use in preparing regional or national Red Lists (also available in Français and Español).




Documentation Standards and Consistency Checks for IUCN Red List Assessments and Species Accounts (ver 2.0 Sep. 2013)

This document provides guidance on the documentation standards for Red List assessments and checks that should be carried out before submitting assessments for inclusion on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. These guidance notes are particularly relevant to entering information into the IUCN Species Information Service (SIS) and should be used for reference when preparing Red List assessment accounts. Please note that this is a working document and will be updated - users should check these pages regularly for new versions.



Policy Documents:

Guidelines for Appropriate Uses of Red List Data (ver. 2)

Designed to encourage and facilitate the use of IUCN Red List data and information to tackle a broad range of important conservation issues. Addresses potential scientific, policy, management and educational uses of IUCN Red List data. 




Additional documents providing guidance on the Red List process, the rules of procedure, policy matters, and links to the assessment tools can be found in the Key Documents section.