Classification Schemes

In order to ensure global uniformity when describing the habitat in which a taxon occurs, the threats to a taxon, what conservation actions are in place or are needed, and whether or not the taxon is utilized, a set of standard terms (called Classification Schemes; formerly referred to as Authority Files) have been developed for documenting taxa on the IUCN Red List. These Classification Schemes are still being developed and tested and not all of them have been implemented in this version of the IUCN Red List.

The Classification Schemes for Threats and Conservation Actions Needed underwent a major review as part of a joint initiative between the IUCN Red List Partnership and The Conservation Measures Partnership, and are now in use (for further details about the schemes, see www.conservationmeasures.org/initiatives/threats-actions-taxonomies). For an explanation of the Threats and Conservation Actions Needed Classification Schemes, please read the Conservation Biology 2008 article: A Standard Lexicon for Biodiversity Conservation: Unified Classifications of Threats and Actions.

The Classification Schemes used in the Red List assessments include:

  • Habitats – for recording the habitats a taxon occurs in (for definitions, examples and guidance on the Habitats Classification Scheme ver. 3.1 see attached)
  • Threats – for recording the threats to a taxon (past, ongoing and future) (for definitions, examples and guidance on the Threats Classification Scheme ver. 3.2 see attached)
  • Stresses – for recording how the threats impact a taxon (for definitions, examples and guidance on the Stresses Classification Scheme ver. 1.1 see attached)
  • Conservation Actions In Place – for recording what conservation actions are already in place for a taxon (for definitions, examples and guidance on the Conservation Actions in Place Classification Scheme ver 2.0 see attached)
  • Conservation Actions Needed – for recording what conservation actions are needed for a taxon (for definitions, examples and guidance on the Conservation Actions Needed Classification Scheme ver. 2.0 see attached)
  • Research Needed – for recording what further research is needed on a taxon (for definitions, examples and guidance on the Research Needed Classification Scheme ver. 1.0 see attached)
  • Use and Trade – a new version of this classification scheme will be posted here early in 2014
  • Plant Growth Forms – for recording growth or life form to enable searches on the Red List web site for particular functional groups of plants like trees, succulents, etc. and to enable life-history analyses of plants on the Red List (for definitions and guidance on the Plant Growth Forms Classification Scheme ver. 1.0 see attached)
  • Ecosystem Services – for recording what ecosystem services the species assessed may provide  (for the Ecosystem Services Classification Scheme ver. 1.0 see attached)
  • Livelihoods – for recording the importance of the species asessed to human livelihoods (for the Livelihoods Classification Scheme ver. 2.0 see attached)

Notes:

The guidance documents attached above to each Classification Scheme are working drafts and that whilst the Classification Schemes themselves may not change, the definitions, examples and guidance on use will be periodically updated, and new versions are indicated by the version number.

The Stresses, Conservation Actions in Place, Research Needed, Ecosytem Services and Livelihoods schemes are not currently displayed on the Red List web site.

If the timing, scope and severity of the threats is recorded, an impact score of the threats is automatically calculated based on the values in the attached table, however, this impact score is not curently displayed on the Red List web site.