The Red List Index (RLI) provides a clearer view of real trends within different taxonomic groups, and for biodiversity as a whole.
Currently, the RLI is available for four taxonomic groups only (those in which all species have been assessed at least twice): birds, mammals, amphibians, and corals. The RLI clearly demonstrates that the status of these major groups is still declining.
Why do we need Biodiversity Indicators?
Biodiversity Indicators are statistical measures of biodiversity which help scientists, managers and politicians understand the condition of biodiversity and the factors that affect it.
When governments adopted the ‘2010 Biodiversity Target’ in 2002, Biodiversity Indicators were developed as a way of measuring progress towards the targets. Standardized measures make it easier to monitor, compare and communicate changes in the health and diversity of nature over time such as changes in the size and distribution of populations of species, habitats and interactions between communities of species and the environment.
The Biodiversity Indicators allow managers and politicians to see if their decisions are conserving biodiversity or leading to its degradation and loss. Without this knowledge it is not possible to know if the actions being taken are working and should continue or if different approaches need to be tried. Therefore Biodiversity Indicators can help to ensure that effort and resources are allocated efficiently and effectively.
Biodiversity Indicators showed that the ‘2010 Biodiversity Target’ was not met and in 2010, the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, which includes the 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets, was adopted in Nagoya, Japan. Achieving these 20 new targets is critical and the Biodiversity Indicators are essential for measuring if our conservation actions are working at both national and global level.