IUCN (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     27th November 2023        
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Context: Recently, scientists and conservationists globally have voiced apprehensions about the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, citing its outdated and unreliable nature.

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

  • About: IUCN was founded in 1948 as the International Union for the Protection of Nature (IUPN).
  • In 1956, the organization was renamed IUCN.
  • Headquarters: Gland, Switzerland.
  • IUCN Red List: The most extensive record of the worldwide conservation status of plant and animal species across the globe.
  • IUCN Red Data Book: It is a publicly available document designed to record endangered and rare species of plants, animals, fungi, and certain local subspecies found in a specific region.

IUCN Classification

  • Extinct (EX): No reasonable doubt that the last individual of a taxon has died.
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW): Survive only in cultivation, captivity, or as a naturalized population well outside its historic range.
  • Critically Endangered (CR): Faces an extremely high risk of extinction in its natural habitat.
  • Endangered (EN): Faces a very high risk of extinction in the wild.
  • Vulnerable (VU): When it faces a high risk of extinction in its natural habitat.
  • Near Threatened (NT): This status is applied when a taxon is close to meeting the criteria for a threatened category or is likely to do so in the near future.
  • Least Concern (LC): This classification is given when a taxon does not qualify for a threatened category.
  • Data Deficient (DD): When there is insufficient knowledge to determine a taxon's risk of extinction, it is categorized as having data deficiencies.

Importance of IUCN Red List

  • Guiding Scientific Research: is a frequent citation in peer-reviewed scientific journals, with numerous conservation articles each year.
  • Informing Policy and Conventions: The IUCN Red List plays a pivotal role in informing decisions related to Multilateral Environmental Agreements.