Why is the Red List so important?

Red: a colour of alarm, urgency, passion and energy. For most conservationists, “The Red List” evokes all four of these feelings, perhaps all at once. The Red List tells us which species are most in danger and which to conserve first. It is also a powerful tool for persuading governments to protect threatened species, and for most of the plant and animal species worldwide, it is vital. The Red List is nicknamed the “barometer of life”, for it is a rich compendium of information on the threats to species, their ecological requirements, where they live, and information on conservation actions that can be taken to reduce their risk of extinction.

In full, it’s called The IUCN [International Union for the Conservation of Nature] Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM, and BirdLife International is the authority for birds, coordinating the process of evaluating all of the world’s bird species against the Red List categories and criteria in order to assess their extinction risk.

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