IUCN Red List Status

All known mammal species have been assessed using the IUCN Red List categories and criteria. These categories provide an explicit framework for determining a species' conservation status, with an emphasis on identifying those at highest risk of global extinction.

In this context, the term "Threatened" refers to those species classified under the IUCN Red List categories of Vulnerable, Endangered, or Critically Endangered.

Of the 5,487 mammal species assessed, nearly one-quarter of species (22.2 %) are globally threatened or extinct, representing 1,219 species (Figure 1 and Table 1). Seventy-six of the 1,219 species are considered to be Extinct (EX), and two Extinct in the Wild (EW). Another 3,432 species are not considered to be threatened at present, being classified in the IUCN Red List Categories of Near Threatened (NT) or Least Concern (LC), while there was insufficient information available to assess the status of an additional 836 species (IUCN Red List Category Data Deficient).

Legend Key Red List Category Number of species Percentage in category
  Extinct (EX) 76 1.4
  Extinct in the Wild (EW) 2 0.04
  Critically Endangered (CR) 188 3.4
  Endangered (EN) 448 8.2
  Vulnerable (VU) 505 9.2
  Near Threatened (NT) 323 5.9
  Least Concern (LC) 3,109 56.7
  Data Deficient (DD) 836 15.2
  TOTAL 5,487  
Table 1. Number and percentage of species in each IUCN Red List category for all mammal species.

 

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Figure 1. IUCN Red List assessment for all 5,487 mammal species.

Status by Taxonomic Group

There are 27 major groups, known as Orders, currently recognized for mammals. Significant differences exist among these groups in both species numbers as well as threatened status. The three Orders with the most species, namely Rodentia (2,255), Chiroptera (1,150) and Eulipotyphla (450), together comprise over 70% of all mammal species. These Orders contain small-bodied mammal species: the rodents, bats, shrews, solenodons, moles, hedgehogs, and Nesophontes. The rodents and bats also have a significantly lower than average level of threat, although they do have a larger than average percentage of species considered Data Deficient; nonetheless, despite having a lower than average level of threat, almost half of all extinct species are rodents.

The Order with the most number of species that has a much higher than average level of threat is the Primates. Of the 414 known species, 49 % are considered threatened. Only four other Orders have a higher percentage of threatened or extinct species: Sirenia (100 %), Perissodactyla (81 %), Monotremata (60 %) and Proboscidea (50 %); however, these four orders have far fewer species (only five, sixteen, five and two, respectively). Two other Orders with more than 100 species and a significantly higher than average level of threat are the Cetartiodactyla and Diprotodontia.

 

ORDER TOTAL EX EW CR EN VU NT LC DD %
Threatened
or Extinct
Afrosoricida 54 0 0 1 7 9 3 30 4 31.5
Carnivora 285 5 0 8 24 39 27 163 19 26.7
Cetartiodactyla 329 7 2 14 46 49 26 123 62 35.9
Chiroptera 1,150 5 0 25 53 99 77 687 204 15.8
Cingulata 21 0 0 0 0 4 5 9 3 19.9
Dasyuromorphia 74 1 0 1 6 5 10 47 4 17.6
Dermoptera 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0
Didelphimorphia 95 1 0 1 0 7 2 67 17 9.5
Diprotodontia 146 7 0 14 15 16 16 76 2 35.6
Eulipotyphla 450 7 0 12 41 31 13 269 77 20.2
Hyracoidea 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 0
Lagomorpha 93 1 0 2 10 5 6 61 8 19.4
Macroscelidea 16 0 0 0 1 2 1 9 3 18.8
Microbiotheria 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
Monotremata 5 0 0 3 0 0 0 2 0 60
Notoryctemorphia 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Paucituberculata 6 0 0 0 0 2 2 2 0 33.3
Peramelemorphia 22 3 0 0 4 2 1 9 3 40.9
Perissodactyla 16 0 0 5 5 3 1 2 0 81.3
Pholidota 8 0 0 0 2 0 4 2 0 25.0
Pilosa 10 0 0 1 1 0 1 7 0 20.0
Primates 414 2 0 37 86 78 23 132 56 49.0
Proboscidea 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 50.0
Rodentia 2,255 36 0 64 144 150 103 1,389 369 17.5
Scandentia 20 0 0 0 2 0 0 15 3 10.0
Sirenia 5 1 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 100
TOTAL 5,487 76 2 188 448 505 323 3,109 836  
Table 2. IUCN Red List assessment by taxonomic order.

 

The number of species in each IUCN Red List category in each of the 156 mammal families, can be accessed here and in each of the hundreds of genera from here