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  • Kristan Sherman & Lianna Burrows

IUCN....Whaaaat?

FRIENDS is partnering with the Perry Institute for Marine Science's Fisheries Research & Conservation Program to simplify the IUCN Red Listing process. Our goal is to explain how species are categorized in this process.


The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List was established in 1964 to assess the global extinction risk of species and recommend actions for their protection and conservation. >35,500 are at risk of becoming extinct!


Data (e.g. surveys, habitat distribution and use maps) are analyzed to determine how healthy and stable populations are. This information is evaluated against a set of standard criteria and assessed species are assigned to one of 8 categories: data deficient, least concern, near threatened, vulnerable, endangered, critically endangered, extinct in the wild or extinct. “Threatened” species are those with a greater risk of becoming extinct. They are classified or designated as either vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered on the IUCN Red List.

In The Bahamas, several marine and terrestrial species are facing extinction including reef-building corals, commercially, ecologically and culturally important marine resources (e.g. #nassaugrouper), plants, endemic birds, bats and iguanas. Information from the IUCN Red List is useful for effective biodiversity conservation, maintaining livelihoods and other important ecosystem services.


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