ESR 6:193-198 (2008)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00129

National Red Lists: the largest global market for IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria

Jon Paul Rodríguez1,2,*

1Centro de Ecología, Instituto Venezolano de Investigaciones Científicas, Apdo. 20632, Caracas 1020-A,Venezuela
2Provita, Apdo. 47552, Caracas 1041-A, Venezuela

ABSTRACT: The 2 major challenges currently confronting the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) with regard to the ‘red listing’ process are the taxonomic, and the geographic growth of the data base. Taxonomic growth refers to the objective of gradually assessing the risk of extinction of all the world’s species and periodically repeating such assessments. Geographic growth refers to the increasing number of people around the world interested in performing extinction risk assessments for various groups of organisms in their region or country. The taxonomic challenge, although a large and demanding task, can be addressed by expanding and strengthening the networks of experts organized within the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC), which represents a significant scaling-up of a well-developed, known model. However, no current structure within the IUCN has the mandate to address the geographic challenge; this requires the creation of new structures or mechanisms. At least 5 key activities must be implemented to effectively integrate the diffuse network of national assessors into the global red listing process: (1) large-scale publicizing of the Guidelines for Application of IUCN Red List Criteria at Regional Levels, and encouraging the work of national assessors; (2) establishing the IUCN Species Programme as the primary trainer and certifier of multipliers; (3) delegating the majority of training to national institutions; (4) creating a virtual data clearing house for national red lists, seamlessly linked to the global list; and (5) consolidating the IUCN Species Programme as the primary endorser of national red list assessments. Hundreds of regional and national red lists will probably be produced in the next decade using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria, particularly because they are now recognized by international agreements such as the 2010 biodiversity target of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the United Nation’s General Assembly Millennium Development Goals. By catalyzing this process, the IUCN would expand the information on the world’s threatened species, while strengthening local scientific capacity for generating and using these data to support conservation action.


KEY WORDS: Assessment of extinction risk · Conservation priorities · IUCN Red List · National red lists · Threatened species


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Cite this article as: Rodríguez JP (2008) National Red Lists: the largest global market for IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. Endang Species Res 6:193-198. https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00129

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