The value of the IUCN Red List for conservation

Trends Ecol Evol. 2006 Feb;21(2):71-6. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2005.10.010. Epub 2005 Nov 2.


The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is the most comprehensive resource detailing the global conservation status of plants and animals. The 2004 edition represents a milestone in the four-decade long history of the Red List, including the first Global Amphibian Assessment and a near doubling in assessed species since 2000. Moreover, the Red List assessment process itself has developed substantially over the past decade, extending the value of the Red List far beyond the assignation of threat status. We highlight here how the Red List, in conjunction with the comprehensive data compiled to support it and in spite of several important limitations, has become an increasingly powerful tool for conservation planning, management, monitoring and decision making.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biodiversity*
  • Conservation of Natural Resources / methods*
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Plants
  • Population Density
  • Population Dynamics