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The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ is internationally recognised as the most respected and robust inventory of global species conservation status.  It provides a standard and repeatable method for assessing the extinction risk of a species and has been extraordinarily successful at drawing attention to biodiversity loss around the world.

Given the success of the IUCN Red List and its Categories and Criteria, there was quickly demand for an equivalent method to assess species status at smaller scales more practical for conservation planning, which primarily occurs at the local, national or regional level.  In 2003, IUCN published guidelines to assess the conservation status of species at regional levels.

Regional and national Red Lists provide countries with key information about species status within their borders, which can be used directly for national conservation and planning policies supporting effective protection of biodiversity.

Most importantly, National Red Lists can be used to assist nations and regions in measuring progress towards the 2020 Aichi Targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) by:

  • Enabling determination of the conservation status and trends of species
  • Enabling identification of species or ecosystems under greatest threat
  • Informing conservation planning and priority setting and therefore national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAPs).
  • Informing the incorporation of biodiversity values into national and local development and planning processes
  • Raising awareness of biodiversity and threatened species

Developed appropriately, National Red Lists have the potential to provide information to measure progress towards 13 of the 20 Aichi Targets.  To date, over 100 countries and regions have developed National and Regional Red Lists.  Historically these documents have been scattered in university libraries, government buildings and environment ministries throughout the world meaning that they cannot reach their potential for use, sharing and learning.  Likewise, the many people working on them around the world have had little opportunity for exchange of knowledge and experience.

The National Red List project aims to change this for the better by leading the development of an active global network of countries and individuals working on National Red Lists.  Through this centralised online hub, we aim to enable Red Listers around the world to learn from each other’s experiences in both conducting Red Lists and in using them for conservation planning and priority setting.  This site contains local, national and regional Red Lists from around the world as well as any resulting conservation Action Plans.  We aim to bring existing National Red List information together to promote and publicise the importance and relevance of the information within them, and enable further development, use and analysis of these important conservation tools.