This website gives an overview of the research underway on the IUCN Red list of Ecosystems; look here for information about the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems and applications. A large group of researchers around the world work together on the science behind the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems – see our people page for more details.
The IUCN Red List of Ecosystem is one of the most powerful tools currently available for the synthesis and analysis of existing biodiversity data. It has been designed to effectively integrate disparate data to achieve an objective, spatially explicit and easily communicated assessment of the current status of biodiversity.
Ecosystems are assessed against scientific criteria to estimate the risk of ecosystem collapse, and assigned to threatened (Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable) and non-threatened categories. Ecosystems that are profoundly degraded or transformed are assessed as Collapsed. The assessment criteria relate to changes in ecosystem distribution (criteria A & B) and function (criteria C, D & E). The criteria and the science behind them are described in detail in Keith et al. (2013) and other papers – see our publications page. Changes in Red List status over time reflect on-going degradation or recovery, and can provide evidence for the effectiveness of conservation and restoration actions. Repeat assessments can measure progress towards goals, such as the Aichi Targets and SDGs.