IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) | ENVIRONMENT | UPSC | IAS


  • (IUCN) is an international organization (NGO) working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.

  • HQ —> Gland, Switzerland, Founded in 1964

  • Best known for compiling and publishing Red Data list, Which assess the conservation status of spices around the world.

  • Red list adopted by united nations as one of the indicators for the 2015 Millennium Development Goal 7 on environment sustainability.


  • In official term ‘threatened’ was classified in three categories

  • Critically Endangered - PINK pages for CE

  • Endangered

  • Vulnerable

  • Green Pages for those species formerly endangered now recover to the point it was no longer threatened


Extinct (EX)

  • No known individuals remaining.

Extinction of species

  • Natural extinction —> With the change in environmental conditions, she species disappear and others, which are more adapted to changed conditions, take their place. The loss of species which occurred in the geological part in the past at a very slow rate is called natural or background extinction.

  • Mass extinction —> Happens because of catastrophes. Mass extinctions occur in millions of years

  • Anthropogenic extinction —> An increasing number of species disappearing from the face of the earth due to human activities. The man made extinction represents a very severe depletion of biodiversity, particularly because it is occurring within a short period of time.

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.

  • reduction in population (greater than 90% over the last 10 years),

  • population size (number less than 50 mature individuals),

  • quantitative analysis showing the probability of extinction in wild in at least 50% in their 10 years

  • it is therefore considered to be facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.

Endangered (EN)

  • High risk of extinction in the wild.

  • Reduction in population 70% over last 10 years

  • Population size - 250 mature individuals

  • Quantitative analysis showing the probability of extinction in wild at least 20% in their 20 years

Vulnerable (VU)

  • High risk of endangerment in the wild.

  • Reduction in population size >50% over last 10 years

  • 10,000 mature individuals

  • Probability of extinction in wild is at least 10% in their 100 years

Near threatened (NT)

  • Likely to become endangered in the near future.

Least concern (LC)

  • Lowest risk. Does not qualify for a more at-risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category.

Data deficient (DD)

  • Not enough data to assess its risk of extinction.

Not evaluated (NE)

  • Has not yet been evaluated against the criteria.

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