The National Red List Project

​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 (see for more detail and the most up to date guidance).

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.

Importantly, National Red Lists can be used to assist member states and regions in measuring and reporting progress towards international commitments and multi-lateral agreements on biodiversity. For example, reporting on the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) targets through:

  • 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

The National Red List project aims to develop this website as a platform for a global network for countries and individuals working on sub global Red Lists. Through this centralised online hub, Red List practitioners around the world can learn from each other’s experiences in both conducting Red Lists and in using them for conservation planning and priority setting. The database contains subnational, national and regional Red Lists of all methods and across a wide time span. Through this, we aim to bring existing 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. 

Partners and contributors

Many thanks to all the organisations and institutions who have contributed time, funding or data to this initiative.  

If you’d like to get involved, please contact us ([email protected]).

Special thanks to The Rufford Foundation for their generous ongoing support of the Red Listing work at ZSL which hosts the National Red List Database and website.