Template:Conservation status The conservation status of a group of organisms (for instance, a species) indicates whether the group still exists and how likely the group is to become extinct in the near future. Many factors are taken into account when assessing conservation status: not simply the number of individuals remaining, but the overall increase or decrease in the population over time, breeding success rates, and known threats.

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is the best-known worldwide conservation status listing and ranking system. Species are classified by the IUCN Red List into nine groups set through criteria such as rate of decline, population size, area of geographic distribution, and degree of population and distribution fragmentation. Also included are species that have gone extinct since 500 AD. When discussing the IUCN Red List, the official term "threatened" is a grouping of three categories: critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable.

  • Extinct (EX) – No known individuals remaining.
  • Extinct in the wild (EW) – Known only to survive in captivity, or as a naturalized population outside its historic range.
  • Critically endangered (CR) – Extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.
  • Endangered (EN) – High risk of extinction in the wild.
  • Vulnerable (VU) – High risk of endangerment in the wild.
  • Near threatened (NT) – Likely to become endangered in the near future.
  • Least concern (LC) – Lowest risk. Does not qualify for a higher risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category.
  • Data deficient (DD) – Not enough data to make an assessment of its risk of extinction.
  • Not evaluated (NE) – Has not yet been evaluated against the criteria.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. Many countries require CITES permits when importing plants and animals listed on CITES.

Multi-country systems


In the European Union, the EU Wildlife Trade Regulation[1] is legislation to provide for the implementation of CITES within the EU, and additional measures.

NatureServe conservation status focuses on Latin America, USA, Canada and the Caribbean, It has been developed over the past three decades [citation needed] by scientists from NatureServe, The Nature Conservancy, and the network of natural heritage programs and data centers. It is increasingly integrated with the IUCN Red List system. Its categories for species include: presumed extinct (GX), possibly extinct (GH), critically imperiled (G1), imperiled (G2), vulnerable (G3), apparently secure (G4), and secure (G5).[2] The system also allows ambiguous or uncertain ranks including inexact numeric ranks (e.g. G2?), and range ranks (e.g. G2G3) for when the exact rank is uncertain. NatureServe adds a qualifier for captive or cultivated only (C), which has a similar meaning to the IUCN Red List extinct in the wild (EW) status.

The Red Data Book of the Russian Federation is used within the Russian Federation, also accepted in parts of Africa.

National systems


Consumer guides


Some consumer guides for seafood, such as Seafood Watch, divide fish and other sea creatures into three categories, analogous to conservation status categories:

  • Red ("say no" or "avoid")
  • Yellow or orange ("think twice", "good alternatives" or "some concerns")
  • Green ("best seafood choices").[7]

The categories do not simply reflect the imperilment of individual species, but also consider the environmental impacts of how and where they are fished, such as through bycatch or ocean bottom trawlers. Often groups of species are assessed rather than individual species (e.g. squid, prawns).

The Marine Conservation Society has 5 levels of ratings for seafood species, as displayed on their FishOnline website.[8]

See also



  1. ^ "EU Wildlife Trade Regulation". Unep-wcmc.org. Retrieved 2013-07-22.
  2. ^ "InfoNatura: About the Data: Conservation Status". Natureserve.org. 2007-04-10. Retrieved 2013-07-22.
  3. ^ "Research Institute for Nature and Forest". Inbo.be. Retrieved 2013-07-22.
  4. ^ "Cosewic". Government of Canada, Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Retrieved 2013-07-22..
  5. ^ "Protecting species". Ymparisto.fi. Retrieved 2013-07-22.
  6. ^ "Threatened Species". Biodic.go.jp. Retrieved 2013-07-22.
  7. ^ "Seafood Recommendations: Our Seafood Ratings". Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  8. ^ "Fish ratings". FishOnline. Marine Conservation Society. Retrieved March 28, 2013.

Template:Threatened species Template:Conservation of species