The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is an important tool for conservation, but the 14% of species currently classified as Data Deficient (DD) present challenges to prioritizing species for management. Assessors assigned the DD category to these species because they lacked enough information to address the Red List criteria. To address this, scientists from the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), Sapienza University of Rome, NatureServe, and other institutions developed a workflow to identify species currently listed as DD that now likely have sufficient data to be reassigned to a Red List category that reflects their extinction risk.
Published in the journal Conservation Biology, the workflow analyzes factors such as the likelihood of reclassification, changes since the last assessment, and potential threats based on habitat loss. By using this workflow, assessors can prioritize DD species for reassessment.