European Red List

26 August 2011 | Project description

Biodiversity is being lost and ecosystem services are being degraded at an alarming rate. There is growing global concern about the status of the natural resources upon which so much of human life depends. Without reliable and timely information on the status and trends of biodiversity, there is little hope of stemming the extinction crisis.

Commissioned by the European Union, the European Red List is a review of the conservation status of European species according to IUCN regional Red Listing guidelines. It provides detailed and up to date information on biodiversity to help establish conservation priorities at the EU and pan-European levels in order to guide conservation action.

The European Red List also contributes to enhance the general understanding among policymakers and the general public of the importance of threatened species and the need for conservation action in Europe.

For several years, IUCN has been a strong advocate for the elaboration of a European Red List and has led its development, producing the European Red Lists of mammals, amphibians, reptiles, butterflies, freshwater fishes, dragonflies and selected saproxylic beetles, molluscs and vascular plants. The current project aims to produce the first regional Red List of pollinators, medicinal plants and marine fishes in the European Union and pan-Europe.

Combined with existing European Red Lists, the results of these assessments will give a detailed and comprehensive picture of the status of biodiversity in Europe. This will be useful input into policy processes such as the EU Biodiversity Strategy, the EU Biodiversity Baseline, the SEBI initiative (Streamlining European Biodiversity Indicators) and the conservation status assessments of species listed on the Habitats Directive Annexes.

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ is widely recognized as the most comprehensive, objective global approach for evaluating the conservation status of plant and animal species. It is produced by the IUCN Global Species Programme and the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) – a network of some 7,000 species experts working in almost every country in the world, and data from a number of partner organizations. Collectively, this network holds what is probably the most complete scientific knowledge base on the biology and current conservation status of species.

The European Red List is compiled by the European staff of the IUCN Global Species Programme and by the IUCN Species Survival Commission.

The latest assessments of the European Red List on molluscs, freshwater fishes and vascular plants were launched at the European Commission on 21 November 2011. See more here.

Click here for an overview of the results of the assessments.

You want to know more about the species? See our fact sheets here.

Click on the links below for the publications:

 Contact: Ana Nieto, Regional Biodiversity Conservation Officer