Species

The IUCN Global Species Programme, in conjunction with the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) and partners, are driving the fight to save species for people and nature.

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Key numbers on species

Assessed

105,500 +

species on the Red List

Threatened

28,000 +

species threatened with extinction

Target

160,000

species which the IUCN Red List aims to assess by 2020


How we engage

Species are critical for a healthy planet, but a growing human population is placing them under enormous pressure. Habitat destruction, invasive species, overexploitation, illegal wildlife trade, pollution and climate change are threatening the survival of species worldwide.

IUCN is at the forefront of the global fight to save species from extinction. Its Species Survival Commission has 6000+ members, within 130 Specialist Groups. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ is used to guide decision making and conservation action. IUCN provides technical expertise for conservation issues and projects.


News

  • Guam Rail The flightless, fast-running Guam Rail (Hypotaenidia owstoni) – the second bird in history to recover after being declared Extinct in the Wild, after the California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus). Once widespread on the Pacific island of Guam, its numbers declined after the Brown Tree Snake (Boiga irregularis) was accidentally introduced at the end of World War Two. In 1987, the last wild Guam Rail was killed by this invasive predator. Thanks to a 35-year captive breeding programme, the Guam Rail is now established on the neighbouring Cocos Island. However, the bird is still classified as Critically Endangered – one step away from extinction. Photo: Photo by Josh More (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

    Species recoveries bring hope amidst the biodiversity crisis - IUCN Red List

    10.12.2019

    Gland, Switzerland, 10 December 2019 (IUCN) – Conservation efforts have led to improvements in the status of ten species, according to today’s update of The IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM. This includes the recovery of the Guam Rail, a bird previously...

  • Bhitarkanika Conservation Area, India Photo: IUCN / Remco van Merm

    Experts call attention to the key role of World Heritage in meeting biodiversity objectives

    28.11.2019

    Experts convened by IUCN have issued a statement on how World Heritage contributes to the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. This includes recommendations specific to World Heritage and its relevance to biodiversity. Negotiations to develop the...

  • Norman Myers Photo: By kind permission of the family.

    Norman Myers - an appreciation

    19.11.2019

    It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Norman Myers. His friend Adrian Phillips, Chair of the World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA) between 1994 - 2000, reflects on his life and legacy.

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Sustainable Use and Trade Photo: IUCN Bangladesh

Sustainable use and trade

Procambarus clarkii Photo: Jordi Ray Gabarra

Invasive species

Pseudagrion kamiranzovu Photo: Jens Kipping

Freshwater biodiversity

Monkey Photo: Slavena Paneve via Unsplash (CC)

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

Quick reads

Aimed at policy-makers and journalists, IUCN Issues Briefs provide key information on selected issues in a two-pager format.

Species and climate change Photo: IUCN

Species and Climate Change

Mean global temperatures have risen ~1ºC since pre-industrial times as a result of human activities. In addition to increasing global temperatures, the impacts of climate change include extreme...
thumbnail_IAS and sustainable development_issues brief Photo: IUCN

Invasive alien species and sustainable development

Alien or non-native species are animals, plants or other organisms introduced by humans, either intentionally or accidentally, into areas outside their natural range. Some of these species become...
Issues brief -  Palm oil and biodiversity Photo: IUCN

Palm oil and biodiversity

Palm oil is derived from the oil palm tree (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.), which is native to West Africa and grows best in tropical climates with abundant water. Three-quarters of total palm oil produced...
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