Ecology IUCN Reference

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Life on Earth is undergoing its sixth major extinction crisis. We must understand the risk of each species becoming extinct to prioritise species for conservation and allocate scarce resources effectively. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) established the Red List in 1963 to objectively categorise the probability of extinction for every species on the planet. Assessments are carried out through extensive networks of stakeholders pooling their expert knowledge. Red Lists have become the backbone of global species conservation as a unified and standardised protocol to measure biodiversity loss and inform policy decisions. Extinctions, however, occur regionally before globally. National (or Regional) Red Lists are thus needed to help prioritise regionally threatened species and to feed into global assessments.

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