Elephants in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

IUCN-CI Biodiversity Assessment Unit

 The IUCN-CI Biodiversity Assessment Unit (BAU) established in 2001, is a collaborative project between IUCN and Conservation International with the mandate of expanding the taxonomic and geographic coverage of the IUCN Red List.

Since inception, the BAU, working in close association with the IUCN Species Programme and other partners, has conducted: the first-ever assessment of the world’s 6,000 amphibians (the Global Amphibian Assessment or GAA); a major revision of the conservation status of the world’s mammals (Global Mammal Assessment, or GMA); initiated a comprehensive assessment of some 20,000 selected marine species (the Global Marine Species Assessment, or GMSA) and some 9,000 reptiles (the Global Reptile Assessment, or GRA); and raised more than US$500,000 in funding to support the Global Freshwater Biodiversity Assessment. Most recently the BAU has additionally supported a review of the conservation status of the world’s cacti species (Global Cactus Assessment).

The assessment process typically includes the organization of regional workshops, attended by the world’s leading experts, on particular species groups. Scientifically rigorous data are collected on the geographic range of the species (including a range map); population status; habitat and ecology; threats to the species; conservation measures needed and in place; and finally, once the supporting information is available, the allocation of a standardized IUCN Red List Category indicating the degree of extinction risk.

All of the data collected during the assessment process are made publically available on the IUCN Red List website.

The comprehensive information gathered can be used to inform the planning of individual species conservation efforts (such as the development of action plans); to identify sites for conservation action (such as the designation of protected areas); to inform broader policy and management (at scales from local to international level); to evaluate the state of biodiversity (allowing geographic and taxonomic comparisons); and to monitor the changing state of biodiversity (including the Red List Index).

Species and Biodiversity News


Brushed aluminium

IUCN receives award for its role in setting sustainable aluminium industry standard

IUCN has received a Gold Facilitation Impact Award from the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) for leading a multi-stakeholder process to launch the now independent Aluminium Stewardship Initiative’s first Performance Standard.  

15 Sep 2015 | Article

Ariel Brunner of BirdLife Europe

The pros and cons of biodiversity offsets

Protecting forests and restoring wetlands are some of the actions companies and governments are taking to make up for biodiversity lost as a result of their development activities. These measurable conservation actions - designed to compensate for unavoidable impacts, on top of prevention and mitigation measures already implemented - are known as biodiversity offsets. The goal of offsets is to achieve no net loss and preferably a net gain of biodiversity on the ground in relation to species’ numbers, habitat and ecosystem function. …  

07 Sep 2015 | Article

IUCN, WLCF 2015, Inger Andersen

IUCN Director General to attend the first World Leaders´ Conservation Forum

IUCN Director General Inger Andersen will join international efforts to seek creative nature-based solutions to global environmental challenges by addressing the World Leaders´ Conservation Forum (WLCF) which takes place on Jeju Island, Republic of Korea, 7 to 9 July.

23 May 2015 | News story

Biodiversity is the cornerstone of our existence

International Day for Biological Diversity 2015: Biodiversity for Sustainable Development

Every year on May 22, people around the world celebrate the International Day for Biological Diversity, a day aimed at increasing understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. From habitat loss and overexploitation to illegal wildlife trade and climate change, a whole host of very real and damaging threats is facing the planet’s incredible biodiversity. Combatting these issues lies at the core of IUCN’s work and feeds into the organisation’s mission of ‘a just world that values and conserves nature’. …  

22 May 2015 | Article