Endangered Species

An endangered species is one that has been categorised by the IUCN as likely to become extinct

  • The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) currently lists over 3,000 species as endangered

The determination of a species conservation status (likelihood of becoming extinct) is based on numerous factors:

  • These include the rate of decline, population size, area of geographic distribution and degree of population fragmentation

The IUCN has produced a red list, which classifies species into nine groups:

  • Extinct (EX) – no surviving individuals (e.g. tasmanian tiger)
  • Extinct in Wild (EW) – captive individuals survive, but there is no wild population (e.g. Barbary lion)
  • Critically Endangered (CR) – faces an extremely high risk of extinction in the near future (e.g. red wolf)
  • Endangered (EN) – faces a high risk of extinction in the near future (e.g. snow leopard)
  • Vulnerable (VU) – faces a high risk of endangerment in the medium term (e.g. Indian rhinoceros)
  • Near Threatened (NT) – may be considered threatened in the near future (e.g. tiger shark)
  • Least Concern (LC) – no immediate threat to species survival (e.g. giraffe)
  • All other organisms may be listed as Data Deficient (DD) or Not Evaluated (NE)

IUCN Red List

IUCN red list