IUCN Categories with Examples

IUCN categories with examples post explains about IUCN Classification of Conservation, IUCN categories with examples.

What is the IUCN?

IUCN Red List which is considered as the most comprehensive inventory of global conservation status of plant and animal species, classifies species into 9 categories which are specified by the criteria such as population size, rate of decline, area of geographic distribution, degree of population and distribution fragmentation.

IUCN categories

1. Extinct

A taxon is Extinct when there is no reasonable doubt that the last individual has died/ eliminated from both natural wild areas and managed areas such as crop cultivation or hatcheries.

A taxon like Asian Cheetah, Pink Headed Duck, Mammoth, Dinosaurs is presumed Extinct when exhaustive surveys in known and/or expected habitat, at suitable times (diurnal, seasonal, annual), throughout its historic range have remained unsuccessful to record an individual and surveys should be over a time frame appropriate to the taxon’s life cycle and life form.

2. Extinct in the Wild

A taxon is Extinct in the Wild when it is known only to survive in cultivation, in
captivity, and thus have become extinct in the natural conditions.

3. Critically Endangered

A species is Critically Endangered when the best available evidence indicates
that it is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild and follows any
of the following criteria.

Population has reduced to less than 50 mature individuals. The population has reduced by greater than 90% over the last 10 years. Mathematical analysis showing the probability of extinction in the wild is at least 50% in 10 years. Limited Geographical Range.

4. Endangered

A Species is Endangered when the best available evidence indicates that it meets any of the following below mentioned criteria for Endangered and it is therefore considered to be facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild.

Reduction in the population size (70% over the last 10 years). Population has reduced to less than 250 mature individuals. Mathematical analysis showing the probability of extinction in the wild at least 20% within 20 years. Limited Geographical Range.

5. Vulnerable

A taxon is Vulnerable when the best available evidence indicates that it meets any of the below mentioned criteria for Vulnerable, and it is therefore considered to be facing a high risk of extinction in the wild.

Reduction in population (>50 % over last 10 years). Population size has reduced to less than 10,000 mature individuals. Probability of extinction in the wild is at least 10% within 100 years. Limited Geographical Range.

IUCN categories with examples

The IUCN Red List Categories indicate how close a species is to becoming extinct. The nine Red List Categories are shown above:

6. Near Threatened

A species which does not qualify for criteria against Critically endangered, endangered, or Vulnerable but in near future it is close to qualifying for or is likely to qualify for threatened category, is known as near threatened.

7. Least Concern

A taxon is Least Concern when it has been evaluated against the criteria and does not qualify for Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable or Near Threatened. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category.

8. Data Deficient

A species is Data Deficient when there is inadequate information to make a direct, or indirect, assessment of its risk of extinction based on its distribution and/or population status.

A species in this category may be well studied, and its biology well known, but appropriate data on abundance and/or distribution are lacking and listing of taxa in this category indicates that more information is required and acknowledges the possibility that future research will show that threatened classification is appropriate.

9. Not Evaluated

A taxon is Not Evaluated when it has not yet been evaluated against the criteria.

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