The Global Red List of Threatened Species

The IUCN Red List is a privileged indicator for monitoring the state of biodiversity in the world. Thanks to this inventory, we now know that one in four mammal species, one in eight birds, more than one in three amphibians and a third of conifer species are threatened with global extinction.

Release date 04/20/2015
Contributor SIDI DIALLO
Geographical coverage global,
Keywords biodiversity


What is the Red List?

The IUCN Red List is the most comprehensive global inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species. It is based on a series of specific criteria to assess the risk of extinction of thousands of species and subspecies. These criteria apply to all species and all parts of the world.

Founded on a solid scientific basis, the IUCN Red List is recognized as the most reliable reference tool on the status of specific biological diversity. Based on accurate information on threatened species, its essential purpose is to identify priorities for action, to mobilize the attention of the public and political leaders on the urgency and extent of conservation problems, and to encourage all actors to act in order to limit the rate of species extinction.

The Red List helps answer key questions, such as:

• To what extent is such a species threatened? 
• What is this or that species especially threatened by? 
• How many endangered species are there in such a region of the world? 
• How many species have disappeared?

A few key figures

In the latest edition of the Global Red List (version 2014.3), of the 76,199 species studied, 22,413 are classified as threatened.

Of these species, 41% of amphibians, 13% of birds and 25% of mammals are globally threatened with extinction. This is also the case for 31% of sharks and rays, 33% of reef-building corals and 34% of conifers.

In this inventory, France is among the 10 countries hosting the largest number of threatened species: in total, 1,057 globally threatened species are present on its territory, in mainland France and overseas.

How is the Red List compiled?

The system developed for the establishment of the Red List is the result of an extensive process of consultation, development and validation of several years, carried out by the experts of the IUCN Species Survival Commission.

Under the IUCN Red List system, each species or subspecies can be assigned to one of nine categories: Extinct (EX), Extinct in the Wild (EW), Critically Endangered (CR ), Endangered (EN), Vulnerable (VU), Near Threatened (NT), Least Concern (LC), Data Deficient (DD), Not Evaluated (NE).

The classification of a species or a subspecies in one of the three categories of species threatened with extinction (CR, EN or VU) is carried out through a series of five quantitative criteria which form the heart of the system.

These criteria are based on different biological factors associated with the risk of extinction: population size, rate of decline, geographic range, degree of settlement and fragmentation of distribution.

Main links and documents

 Global  Red List  Database >> here

More information  on the IUCN International website   >> here

Latest press 
Image removed.  releases: IUCN International press releases on the global Red List ( June 2014  and November 2014 ) 
Image removed. IUCN France press release on  the particular situation of France  at the global level

Two reference documents: 
Image removed.  The  IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria  : Version 3.1 (2012) 
Image removed. The  Guidelines for Regional and National Application  of the IUCN Red List Criteria: Version 4.0 (2012) )