Print Friendly, PDF & Email

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

Topics Covered:

  1. Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
  2. Conservation related issues.

 

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

 

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Categorization of IUCN red list, features and criteria, recent additions from India to the list.

 

Context: The hump-backed Mahseer, found in the waters of the Cauvery, has been added to the IUCN Red List with Critically Endangered Status.

  • The hump-backed mahseer is a large freshwater fish also called the tiger of the water and found only in the Cauvery river basin including Kerala’s Pambar, Kabini and Bhavani rivers.
  • Five other species have also made it to threatened categories: two wild orchids, the Arabian scad (a marine fish) and two wild coffee species found only in a few localities in the Western Ghats.

 

About IUCN red list of threatened species:

  • The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species.
  • It uses a set of quantitative criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of thousands of species. These criteria are relevant to most species and all regions of the world. With its strong scientific base, The IUCN Red List is recognized as the most authoritative guide to the status of biological diversity.

 

The IUCN Red List Categories:

  • The IUCN Red List Categories define the extinction risk of species assessed. Nine categories extend from NE (Not Evaluated) to EX (Extinct).
  • Critically Endangered (CR), Endangered (EN) and Vulnerable (VU) species are considered to be threatened with extinction.

The IUCN system uses a set of five quantitative criteria to assess the extinction risk of a given species. In general, these criteria consider:

  1. The rate of population decline.
  2. The geographic range.
  3. Whether the species already possesses a small population size.
  4. Whether the species is very small or lives in a restricted area.
  5. Whether the results of a quantitative analysis indicate a high probability of extinction in the wild.

 

Significance:

  • The IUCN Red List brings into focus the ongoing decline of Earth’s biodiversity and the influence humans have on life on the planet. It provides a globally accepted standard with which to measure the conservation status of species over time.
  • Scientists can analyze the percentage of species in a given category and how these percentages change over time; they can also analyze the threats and conservation measures that underpin the observed trends.

 

Sources: the hindu.

CategoriesINSIGHTS