Assessment Process

The information below refers to the Amphibian Assessment Process up until 2008; this process has since changed, so for more recent updates on the process itself please refer to the IUCN SSC Amphibian Red List Authority Wiki Site.

The 2008 IUCN Red List contains information on the conservation status of the world's 6,260 known amphibian species, as assessed against the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. Almost 650 scientists from more than 60 countries have now contributed to these assessments. Since the first comprehensive assessment of all amphibians was completed and included in the IUCN Red List in 2004 (as part of the IUCN-led Global Amphibian Assessment), the data have been continually updated and revised. In particular, newly described species have been added and new information has been incorporated. The first update was included in the IUCN Red List in 2006, and the second and most recent update to the data is included in the most recent IUCN Red List in 2008.


In order to conduct IUCN Red List assessments across the globe, IUCN relies heavily on the support of many key institutional partners, without which the progress made to date on expanding the content on the IUCN Red List would not have been possible. In the case of amphibians, the assessment process represents a long-term collaboration between IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe.


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The Central Coordinating Team

The central coordination for amphibians is carried out by the IUCN/SSC - CI/CABS Biodiversity Assessment Unit based at the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science at Conservation International (CI/CABS). The four members of the unit currently working on amphibians are Ariadne Angulo, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Michael Hoffmann, with administrative support from Edward Lohnes. Bruce Young of NatureServe has served as a fifth member of the coordinating team, with particular responsibilities for coordination of work in the Americas, especially North America and Mesoamerica. Simon Stuart currently serves as a consultant advisor to the team. This small team is dependent on the expertise of the world's amphibian experts for the success of the amphibian assessment. A full listing of all the participants in the assessment can be found in the Acknowledgements.

The IUCN/SSC – CI/CABS Biodiversity Assessment Unit

In 2001, the Species Survival Commission (SSC) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science (CABS) at Conservation International established the Biodiversity Assessment Unit, with the aim of rapidly expanding the geographic and taxonomic coverage of the IUCN Red List.

Amphibians were the first major taxon to be assessed, and a complete reassessment of mammals has just been completed. A global, comprehensive assessment of all reptiles is currently underway, and indeed already complete in some regions. IUCN/SSC and CI/CABS are also collaborating with other partners to expand the coverage of the IUCN Red List into the marine realm (the 2008 IUCN Red List includes the first major results of this work), in freshwater, as well as on selected plant taxa (e.g., cycads and cacti). The goals for each species group assessment are the same: to map the distribution and assess the conservation status of each species in order to establish global baselines for biodiversity monitoring. The Unit also provides advice on guidance on the use of these data for conservation planning, management, monitoring and decision making.