Why do a national Red List Index?


The IUCN Red List Index measures overall global trends in extinction risk of all species within a group worldwide. It is based on genuine changes in the threat status of species over time through the categories of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species towards or away from extinction. Red List indices have been created at a national or regional scale, since they allow us to do the following:

  • Identify trends in biodiversity, and extinction risk of species at a national or regional scale, more sensitively than the global RLI allows and more relevant to national or regional conservation policy.
  • Provide a key tool for assessing the impact of national-scale conservation interventions.
  • Track progress towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, particularly Target 12, by providing information required on ‘Trends in extinction risk of species’.
  • Provide a basis for tracking progress at a national level under various other agreements such as the Ramsar Convention, Convention on Migratory Species, EU Habitats and Species Directive and the EU Birds Directive, CITES.
  • Show trends in extinction risk for species relevant to particular national policy mechanisms.
  • Explore trends in the importance and impacts of specific threats at a national or regional scale
  • The RLI can be applied at multiple taxonomic levels, suggesting that it can be used to inform assessment of trends in genetic diversity as well as that of species.

The development of national RLIs may likely lead to greater ownership and uptake by national governments.