ESR 6:185-191 (2008)  -  doi:10.3354/esr00143

The path from grey literature to Red Lists

N. Mrosovsky1, M. H. Godfrey2,3,*

1Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto, 25 Harbord Street, M5S 3G5 Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, 1507 Ann Street, Beaufort, North Carolina 28516, USA
3Nicholas School of Environment and Earth Sciences, Duke University Marine Lab, 135 Marine Lab Road, Beaufort, North Carolina 28516, USA
*Corresponding author. Email:

ABSTRACT: This paper concerns the process by which Red List designations are decided and supported; it does not concern whether the past or present Red List categorizations are correct. We argue that, contrary to statements extolling the scientific and authoritative nature of the Red List, the reality for some species falls far short of these ideals. The prominent role played by the grey literature is an important factor in these problems. We use the case of the hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata as an example of the problems with relying on unavailable grey literature, but similar problems apply to various taxa classified in the Red List.


KEY WORDS: IUCN · Red List · Grey literature · Citations · Transparency


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Cite this article as: Mrosovsky N, Godfrey MH (2008) The path from grey literature to Red Lists. Endang Species Res 6:185-191

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