Species

The IUCN Global Species Programme, in conjunction with the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) and partners, are driving the fight to save species for people and nature.

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Key numbers on species

Assessed

93,577

species on the Red List

Threatened

26,197

species threatened with extinction

Target

160,000

species which the IUCN Red List aims to assess by 2020


How we engage

Species are critical for a healthy planet, but a growing human population is placing them under enormous pressure. Habitat destruction, invasive species, overexploitation, illegal wildlife trade, pollution and climate change are threatening the survival of species worldwide.

IUCN is at the forefront of the global fight to save species from extinction. Its Species Survival Commission has 6000+ members, within 130 Specialist Groups. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ is used to guide decision making and conservation action. IUCN provides technical expertise for conservation issues and projects.


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Pseudagrion kamiranzovu Photo: Jens Kipping

Freshwater biodiversity

The Freshwater Biodiversity Unit aims to put in place a factual basis for efforts to conserve and manage freshwater biodiversity.

 

Sustainable Use and Trade Photo: IUCN Bangladesh

Sustainable use and trade

The IUCN Sustainable Use and Trade Programme works to promote the conservation and sustainable use and trade of wild species.

 

Procambarus clarkii Photo: Jordi Ray Gabarra

Invasive species

The Invasive Species Team work across three major areas to reduce the impact of invasive alien species by providing robust scientific knowledge, support policy development and work on the ground.

 

Magellanic Penguins Photo: Pablo Garcia Borboroglu

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species team assess the conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species across the globe.

 

Quick reads

Aimed at policy-makers and journalists, IUCN Issues Briefs provide key information on selected issues in a two-pager format.

thumbnail_IAS and sustainable development_issues brief Photo: IUCN

Invasive alien species and sustainable development

Alien or non-native species are animals, plants or other organisms introduced by humans, either intentionally or accidentally, into areas outside their natural range. Some of these species become...

Issues brief -  Palm oil and biodiversity Photo: IUCN

Palm oil and biodiversity

Palm oil is derived from the oil palm tree (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.), which is native to West Africa and grows best in tropical climates with abundant water. Three-quarters of total palm oil produced...

Issues brief -  invasive alien species and climate change Photo: IUCN

Invasive alien species and climate change

Over the past few decades globalisation has increased the movement of people and goods around the world, leading to a rise in the number of species introduced to areas outside their natural ranges. A...

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