IUCN Red List Index

IUCN Red List Index Methodology:

Butchart, S.H.M., Akçakaya, H.R., Chanson, J., Baillie, J.E.M., Collen, B, Quader, S., Turner, W.R., Amin, R., Stuart, S.N. and Hilton-Taylor, C. 2007. Improvements to the Red List Index. PLoS One 2(1): e140. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0000140.   [A paper presenting revisions to the Red List Index (RLI) to overcome some shortcomings previously identified and to improve the overall performance of the RLI making it a more robust indicator for the status of biodiversity.]


Butchart, S.H.M., Stattersfield, A.J., Baillie, J., Bennun, L.A., Stuart, S.N., Akçakaya, H.R., Hilton-Taylor, C. and Mace, G.M. 2005. Using Red List Indices to measure progress towards the 2010 target and beyond. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 360(1454): 255–268. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2004.1583.   [Further details on the Red List Index (RLI), outlining the results of applying the RLI to birds and amphibians, with recommendations for further development of the RLI and its potential use for producing baseline data on the rate of biodiversity loss against which progress towards meeting the CBD 2010 target can be judged.]



Butchart, S.H.M., Stattersfield, A.J., Bennun, L.A., Shutes, S.M., Akçakaya, H.R., Baillie, J.E.M., Stuart, S.N., Hilton-Taylor, C. and Mace, G.M. 2004. Measuring global trends in the status of biodiversity: Red List Indices for birds. PLoS Biology 2(12): e383. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.0020383.   [An introduction to the Red List Index (RLI): a method of using genuine changes in Red List status to determine true status trends for a whole taxonomic group. Here, the RLI methodology is tested using data for birds assessed between 1998 and 2004.]



National IUCN Red List Indices:


The IUCN Red List Index: Guidance for National and Regional Use (2009) [1014.22 KB]

Bubb, P.J., Butchart, S.H.M., Collen, B., Dublin, H., Kapos, V., Pollock, C., Stuart, S.N. and Vié, J.-C.

Version 1.1.  

A guidance document to support national and regional use of the IUCN Red List Index (RLI)


BirdLIfe International. 2012. Developing and Implementing National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans: How to set, meet and track the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK. Available as PDF or can be viewed online. [This booklet—launched at the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties in Hyderabad, India—provides examples for 18 of the Aichi Targets of how birds can help to set targets at the national level, focus actions to meet these targets, and provide data to monitor success.]




Szabo, J.K., Butchart, S.H.M., Possingham, H.P. and Garnett, S.T. 2012. Adapting global biodiversity indicators to the national scale: a Red List Index for Australian birds. Biological Conservation 148(1): 61–68. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2012.01.062. [Apr 2012]


Woinarski, J.C.Z., Burbidge, A.A. and Harrison, P.L. 2015. Ongoing unraveling of a continental fauna: Decline and extinction of Australian mammals since European settlement. PNAS 112(15): 4531–4540. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1417301112. [Apr 2015]




Quayle, J.F., Ramsay, L.R. and Fraser, D.F. 2007. Trend in the status of breeding bird fauna in British Columbia, Canada, based on the IUCN Red List Index method. Conservation Biology 21(5): 1241–1247. DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2007.00753.x [Oct 2007]



Xu, H., Tang, X, Liu, J., Ding, H., Wu, J., Zhang, M., Yang, Q, Cai, L. Zhao, H and Liu, Y. 2009 China’s Progress toward the Significant Reduction of the Rate of Biodiversity Loss. BioScience 59(10): 843–852. DOI: 10.1525/bio.2009.59.10.6.



Pihl, S. and Flensted, K.N. 2011. A Red List Index for breeding birds in Denmark in the period 1991-2009. Dansk Ornitologisk Forening Tidsskrift 105(4): 211-218.



Juslén, A., Hyvärinen, E. and Virtanen, L.K. 2013. Application of the Red-List Index at a National Level for Multiple Species Groups. Conservation Biology 27(2): 398–406. doi: 10.1111/cobi.12016. [Apr 2013]

Juslén, A., Pykälä, J., Kuusela, S., Kaila, L., Kullberg, J., Mattila, J., Muona, J., Saari, S. and Cardoso, P. 2016. Application of the Red List Index as an indicator of habitat change. Biodiversity and Conservation 25(3) 569–585. DOI: 10.​1007/​s10531-016-1075-0. [Mar 2016]



Rondinini, C., Battistoni, A. and Teofili, C. 2014. Lo stato della Biodiversità in Italia: l’applicazione per il volume dell’approccio Sampled Red List e Red List Index. Rapporto realizzato nell’ambito dell’accordo quadro “Per una più organica collaborazione in tema di conservazione della biodiversità”, sottoscritto da Ministero dell’Ambiente e della Tutela del Territorio e del Mare e Federazione Italiana Parchi e Riserve Naturali. Comitato Italiano IUCN e Ministero dell'Ambiente e della Tutela del Territorio e del Mare, Roma, Italia.



López, L. 2011. Estado de las Aves del Paraguay / State of Paraguay’s Birds. Guyra Paraguay, Birdlife International. Asunción, Paraguay.



Herrando, S. and Anton, M. 2013. Changes in the conservation status of breeding birds in Catalonia (NE Iberian Peninsula) in the period 2002–2012. Revista Catalana d’Ornitologia 29: 20-34. [Nov 2013]

Moreno Saiz, J.C., Lozano, F.D., Gómez, M.M. and Bañares Baudet, A. 2015. Application of the Red List Index for conservation assessment of Spanish vascular plants. Conservation Biology 29(3): 910–919. DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12437. [Jun 2015]



Gärdenfors, U. (ed.). 2010. Rödlistade arter i Sverige 2010  the 2010 Red List of Swedish Species. ArtDatabanken, SLU, Uppsala




General Use of the IUCN Red List Index:


Visconti, P., Baisero, D., Brooks, T., Butchart, S.H.M., Joppa, L., Alkemade, R., Bakkenes, M., Di Marco, M., Santini, L., Hoffmann, M., Maiorano, L., Pressey, R.L., Arponen, A., Boitani, L., Reside, A., van Vuuren, D. and Rondinini, C. 2016. Projecting global biodiversity indicators under future development scenarios.Conservation Letters 9(1): 513: DOI: 10.1111/conl.2014.12159. [Jan/Feb 2016].



Regan, E.C., Santini, L., Ingwall-King, L., Hoffmann, M., Rondinini, C., Symes, A., Taylor, J. and Butchart, S.H.M. 2015. Global trends in the status of bird and mammal pollinators. Conservation Letters 8(6): 397–403. DOI: 10.1111/conl.12162. [Nov/Dec 2015].


Shier, D.M. 2015. Developing a standard for evaluating reintroduction success using the IUCN Red List indices. Animal Conservation 18(5): 411-412. DOI: 10.1111/acv.12242. [Oct 2015]


Di Marco, M., L. Boitani, D. Mallon, M. Hoffmann, A. Iacucci, E. Meijaard, P. Visconti, J. Schipper, C. Rondinini 2014. A retrospective evaluation of the global decline of carnivores and ungulates. Conservation Biology 28(4): 11091118: DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12249. [Aug 2014]



Hoffmann, M., Belant, J.L., Chanson, J.S., Cox, N.A., Lamoreux, J., Rodrigues, A.S.L., Schipper, J. and Stuart, S.N. 2011. The changing fates of the world's mammals. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 366(1578): 2598–2610; DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2011.0116. [15 Aug 2011]



Hoffmann, M., Hilton-Taylor,  C., Angulo, A., Böhm, M., Brooks, T.M., Butchart, S.H.M. et al. [174 other authors]. 2010.  The impact of conservation on the status of the world’s vertebrates. Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1194442.  Follow links for Abstract and/or Reprint of the paper.


McGeogh, M.A., Butchart, S.H.M., Spear, D., Marais, E., Kleyhans, E.J., Symes, A., Chanson, J. and Hoffmann, M. 2010. Global indicators of biological invasion: species numbers, biodiversity impact and policy responses. Diversity and Distributions 16: 95–108. DOI: 10.1111/j.1472-4642.2009.00633.x.



Butchart, S.H.M. 2008. Red List Indices to measure the sustainability of species use and impacts of invasive alien species. Bird Conservation International 18 (suppl.): 245–262. DOI: 10.1017/S095927090800035X.



Butchart, S.H.M., Akçakaya, H.R., Kennedy, E. and Hilton-Taylor, C. 2006. Biodiversity indicators based on trends in conservation status: strengths of the IUCN Red List Index. Conservation Biology 20: 579–581. DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2006.00410.x.