Throughout 2014 we are celebrating the significant contribution of The
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in guiding conservation action and
policy decisions over the past 50 years. The IUCN Red list is an
invaluable conservation resource, a health check for our planet - a
Barometer of Life.
The IUCN Red List is the world's most comprehensive information source
on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species
and their links to livelihoods. Far more than a list of species and
their status, the IUCN Red List is a powerful tool to inform and
catalyse action for biodiversity conservation and policy change,
critical to protecting the natural resources we need to survive. It
provides information on population size and trends, geographic range
and habitat needs of species.
Many species groups including mammals, amphibians, birds, reef
building corals and conifers have been comprehensively assessed.
However, there is much more to be done and increased investment is
needed urgently to build The IUCN Red List into a more complete
'Barometer of Life'. To do this we need to increase the number of
species assessed from the current count of 71,576 to at least 160,000
by 2020, improving the taxonomic coverage and thus providing a
stronger base to enable better conservation and policy decisions.