What is the Red List?

logo_IUCN-red-list-medAbout the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ provides taxonomic, conservation status and distribution information on plants and animals that have been globally evaluated using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria.

Our Role

SeahorseIUCN Red List Authorities have been established for all major taxonomic groups included on the IUCN Red List. In our case, the IUCN Red List Authority (RLA) is the Species Survival Commission‘s Specialist Group for Seahorses, Pipefish, and Sticklebacks. RLAs facilitate species assessments for the IUCN Red List by collating data and maps and coordinating their review by well-qualified experts, and by contributing directly to the assessments.

Our Specialist Group’s role as the IUCN Red List Authority is to ensure that all species within our jurisdiction (all fish in the orders Gasterosteifiormes and Syngnathiformes – nearly 350 species) are correctly assessed against the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria at least once every ten years and, if possible, every five years . The intention is that no new species assessment will be included on The IUCN Red List until it has been reviewed by one or more members of the Red List Authority. This review system places greater responsibility on the SSC network and its partners to ensure that what appears on the IUCN Red List is credible and scientifically accurate.

Get Involved

Do you have data that is pertinent to one of our species’ Red List assessments?

Are you interested in helping the SPS Specialist Group perform Red List Assessments?

Please contact our Red List Authority Coordinator, Riley Pollom (r.pollom@fisheries.ubc.ca). You can take the online IUCN Red Listing course and become a certified assessor. In addition to the several hundred species we are responsible for, there are thousands more species to assess for the Red List. They are considered formal publications and look great on a CV.


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