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.


Key numbers on species


112,400 +

species on the Red List


30,000 +

species threatened with extinction



species which the IUCN Red List aims to assess by 2020

How we engage

Species are critical for a healthy planet, but growing pressures from human activities are putting them at risk of extinction. 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 over 9000 members, within 160 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.


  • IUCN-Toyota side event at CMS COP 13 From left to right: Dr A.P.Singh, Dr Vivek Saxena, Ms Amy Fraenkel, Dr Jane Smart and Mr Takao Aiba, at IUCN-Toyota Red List Partnership event, CMS COP 13, Gandhinagar, India, February 2020. Photo: Sean Wu, IISD/ENB

    IUCN-Toyota Red List Partnership: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ recognised as a crucial tool to tackle the nature emergency


    As part of the recently concluded 13th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Migratory Species in Gandhinagar, India, IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and Toyota Motor Corporation, together with the Government of India, hosted a...

  • Mount Tucuche tree frog (Flectonotus fitzgeraldi) Photo: Mount Tucuche tree frog (Flectonotus fitzgeraldi). Located at Paraguaná Peninsula, Venezuela. Photo by Enrique La Marca

    IUCN Guidelines for Assessing Species’ Vulnerability to Climate Change Now Available in Spanish


    Doncaster, UK., 15 January 2020 – IUCN has released a Spanish translation of the Guidelines for Assessing Species’ Vulnerability to Climate Change. Developed by leading scientists and conservationists under the auspices of the IUCN SSC Climate Change...

  • 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


    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...

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Monkey Photo: Slavena Paneve via Unsplash (CC)

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

Pseudagrion kamiranzovu Photo: Jens Kipping

Freshwater biodiversity

Procambarus clarkii Photo: Jordi Ray Gabarra

Invasive species

Sustainable Use and Trade Photo: IUCN Bangladesh

Sustainable use and trade

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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