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Endangered Species Research

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ESR 3:53-60 (2007)  -  doi:10.3354/esr003053

Harmonization of Red Lists in Europe: some lessons learned in the Netherlands when applying the new IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria version 3.1.

Hans H. de Iongh1,*, Dick Bal2

1Institute of Environmental Sciences, PO Box 9518, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
2Department of Knowledge, Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, PO Box 482,6710 BL Ede, The Netherlands

ABSTRACT: This paper discusses the desirability of the harmonization of Red Lists for both regional and national red listing by using the new IUCN Categories and Criteria (C&C) version 3.1, and presents a case study demonstrating the application of the new IUCN Categories and Criteria for red listing in the Netherlands. We make a plea for more harmonization of Red Lists in Europe. One means of achieving this is to use the new IUCN Categories and Criteria version 3.1. for threatened species. Recent testing of Dutch national Red Lists with the new IUCN C&C version 3.1. in the Netherlands has shown that a substantial number of species (and subspecies) will lose their national Red List status, while other species previously not red listed may become so. The use of the new IUCN C&C version 3.1 resulted in some cases (reptiles and amphibians and vascular plants) in a shorter, but in other cases (birds, butterflies) a longer IUCN-criteria based Red List. We found an overlap of over 50% in the threat categories in both Red Lists; a marked exception is that for birds (34%). The application of the new IUCN C&C version 3.1. for the Dutch national Red Lists results in a substantial variation in outcome when compared with Red Lists based on the ‘Dutch’ criteria. This variation is particularly due to the A and D criteria of IUCN, especially when applied to fairly small countries. The Dutch government has therefore decided to continue using the ‘Dutch’ Red Lists for national policy purposes, but to use the IUCN-criteria based Red lists for international (European) comparison only. A link between the Birds and Habitats Directives and regional IUCN Red Lists for Europe would also be desirable.

KEY WORDS: Threatened species · Red Lists · Red List harmonization · Application of IUCN Categories and Criteria · Regional Red Lists · National Red Lists

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