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The conservation status of a species is an indicator of the likelihood of that species remaining extant either in the present day or the near future. Many factors are taken into account when assessing the conservation status of a species: not simply the number remaining, but the overall increase or decrease in the population over time, breeding success rates, known threats, and so on.

Global systems

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is the best-known worldwide conservation status listing and ranking system. The system divides threatened species into three categories: Critically Endangered (CR), Endangered (EN), and Vulnerable (VU). Also listed are the documented extinctions that have occurred since 1500 AD and taxa that are extinct in the wild. Lower risk taxa are also divided into categories.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.a

Multi-country systems

In the European Union, the EU Wildlife Trade Regulation is legislation to provide for the implementation of CITES within the EU, and additional measures.

NatureServe conservation status focuses on Latin America, USAmarker, Canadamarker and the Caribbeanmarker, It has been developed over the past three decades by scientists from NatureServe, The Nature Conservancy, and the network of natural heritage programs and conservation data centers. It is increasingly integrated with the IUCN Red List system. Categories for species including: Presumed Extinct (GX), Possibly Extinct (GH), Critically Imperiled (G1), Imperiled (G2), Vulnerable (G3), Apparently Secure (G4), and Secure (G5). The system also allows ambiguous or uncertain ranks including inexact numeric ranks (eg G2?), and range ranks (e.g G2G3) for when the exact rank is uncertain. NatureServe adds a qualifier for Captive or Cultivated Only (C), which has a similar meaning to the IUCN Red List Extinct in the Wild (EW) status,

Red Data Book of the Russian Federation is used within the Russian Federation.

National systems

Consumer guides

Consumer guides for seafood, such as Seafood Watch, generally divide fish and other sea creatures into three categories, analogous to conservation status categories:
  • Red ("say no" or "avoid")
  • Yellow or orange ("think twice", "good alternatives" or "some concerns")
  • Green ("best seafood choices").

The categories do not simply reflect the imperilment of individual species, but also consider the environmental impacts of how and where they are fished, such as through bycatch or ocean bottom trawlers. Often groups of species are assessed rather than individual species (e.g. Bluefin tuna or squid).

The Marine Conservation Society has 5 levels of ratings for seafood species, as displayed on their Fishonline website.

See also


  1. EU Wildlife Trade Regulation
  2. InfoNatura: About the Data: Conservation Status
  3. Research Institute for Nature and Forest
  4. Cosewic
  5. - Protecting species
  6. Threatened Species
  7. MinLNV | Pagina niet gevonden
  8. MinLNV | Pagina niet gevonden
  9. MinLNV | Pagina niet gevonden

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