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

 

Kings Canyon Australia

Protected areas critical to future of the world's drylands

An IUCN study has revealed that well-designed and managed protected areas are crucial to the survival of ecosystem services in dryland regions. They can also play a significant role in maintaining the livelihoods of Indigenous communities and reducing climate change and desertification. …  

11 Jul 2014 | Article

Women’s cooperative in Hyderabad, India

Documentation and Analysis of NBSAP Revision Processes

National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) are the main vehicles of national implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity. They are processes through which societies come together to make the difficult decisions of where, when, and how biodiversity and ecosystem services should be conserved, used sustainably, and the benefits of this use shared equitably. Most countries that are Parties to the Convention have already developed at least one NBSAP. …  

03 Apr 2014 | News story

Tiger photographed by camera-trap in Thailand

Protecting our wild inheritance

SOS founding partner, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) featured an article on SOS to mark World Wildlife Day, March 3 2014. Focusing on the extensive and varied work of SOS grantee projects to address wildlife crime what follows illustrates just how broad and multi-faceted the challenge is that we face.   March 3 has officially been recognized as World Wildlife Day thanks to a recent decision taken by the United Nations and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES). The intention is to mark one day in our busy lives as a celebration of the beauty and diversity of plants and animals with which we share the world. One of the key aims of this day is to raise awareness of the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime. …  

05 Mar 2014 | News story