Online discussion forums


There are several ways by which Red List assessments can be carried out, which include 1) assessment workshops, 2) one-on-one consultation with experts, usually through some electronic medium such as email or Skype, and 3) online discussion forums. Although one of the most productive environments for reviewing Red List assessments workshops can be expensive and time-consuming. It might therefore be necessary to complement traditional workshops with other means of engaging with species experts. Online discussion forums are one such way, and have been introduced by the IUCN to help with some of the large global assessment projects (primarily the reassessment of amphibians and the global assessment of reptiles).

There are other online virtual research environments which have previously been used for the collaborating with experts on assessments. For example, for the global Sampled Red List Index assessment for plants, Kew shared assessments online via scratchpad in order to interact with species experts.


scratchpad SRLI Kew 

Screenshot of the scratchpad site used by Royal Botanic Gardens Kew to facilitate the Sampled Red List process for plants.


Similar developments have also been used at the national Red List level. For example, the 2002 assessment of South African mammals has led to many improvements to the assessment process, specifically the recent development of an online species listing database by the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) which allows data contributors to enter their data directly into the database from any location, and for multiple contributors with password controlled access to input data, and comment on, add to or change other data contributions in such a way that all additions and alterations are tracked and monitored.  This will no doubt speed up the process of participants arriving at complete and consolidated datasheets for all species and allow any workshop time to focus only on the Red Listing process.