The 2008 IUCN Red List contains information on the conservation status of all of the world's known mammal species, as assessed against the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. Over 1,700 experts have contributed to these assessments.
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 mammals, the partners that have been involved to date are Conservation International, Arizona State University, Texas A&M University, University of Rome, University of Virginia, and the Zoological Society London.
The central coordination for mammals is carried out by the IUCN/SSC - CI/CABS Biodiversity Assessment Unit. This unit is part of the IUCN Species Programme, but based at the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science at Conservation International (CI/CABS). The members of the unit currently working on mammals are Jan Schipper, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox, and Mike Hoffmann, with administrative support from Edward Lohnes. John Lamoreux of Texas A&M University, and Helen Temple of the IUCN Species Programme are also members of the coordinating team. Helen's particular responsibilities are the coordination of assessments in Europe. Simon Stuart currently serves as a consultant advisor to the team. This small team is dependent on the expertise of the world's mammal experts for the success of the mammal assessment. A full list of all the participants in the assessment can be found in the Acknowledgements.
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 now the comprehensive reassessment of mammals is also complete. A global 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.