Assesses Status of Threatened Species Worldwide (5.04.06)
The 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species brings into sharp focus the ongoing decline of the earth's biodiversity. Widely recognized as the most authoritative assessment of the global status of plants and animals, the Red List provides an accurate measure of progress, or lack of it, in achieving the globally agreed target to significantly reduce the current rate of biodiversity loss by 2010.
Of the 40,177 species worldwide assessed using the IUCN Red List criteria, 16,119 are now listed as threatened with extinction. This includes one in three amphibians and a quarter of the world's coniferous trees, on top of the one in eight birds and one in four mammals known to be in jeopardy. The total number of species declared officially Extinct is 784 and a further 65 are only found in captivity or cultivation.
All IUCN Red List updates contribute to a worldwide biodiversity assessment. Work is underway to reassess the status of all mammals (approximately 6,000 species) and birds (approximately 10,000 species) and to assess for the first time all reptiles (approximately 8,000 species) and freshwater fish (approximately 10,000 species). The first Global Amphibian Assessment (nearly 6,000 species) was completed in 2004.