What is the IUCN Red List?

What is the IUCN Red List?

The IUCN is the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The IUCN, amongst other tasks, compiles a list of animals and plants from around the word that are considered to be threatened – in danger of becoming extinct. The inventory, or list, is called the Red List of Threatened Species.

The aim of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is to create a ‘universally accepted system of classification of species at high risk of extinction globally.’ It is an international standard with a scientifically tested assessment. 

Each species is assessed according to a set of established criteria, and rated on a scale ranging from ‘least concern’ to ‘extinct.’

The classifications are:

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Extant and Extinct


What is the difference between extant and extinct?

Extant means still surviving, alive, still in existence, existing.

Extinct means no longer in existence, inactive, old, former, dead.