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The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is the most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of the world's plant and animal species. It is based on an objective system for assessing the risk of extinction of a species. Species listed as Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable are regarded as threatened and therefore most in need of conservation attention.
This volume contains the most up-to-date information on the patterns of species facing extinction in some of the most important ecosystems in the world and the reasons behind their declining status. For managers this information will assist in designing and delivering targeted action to mitigate these threats. From a policy perspective, the Red List offers a progressively more valuable tool. Increasingly it provides the fundamental information needed to deliver indicators for tracking: progress against national obligations under the CBD; the conservation status of those species in international trade under CITES; the extent and magnitude of climate change impacts for reporting through the UNFCCC or towards refining our knowledge of migratory species apropos the CMS.
The Red List has grown continuously in terms of its technical strength and breadth, providing a particularly unique and important tool for decision makers. With all species of amphibians, birds, mammals and subsets of other taxonomic groups now assessed, the Red List provides an important foundation piece for conservationists by describing the patterns of species conservation status across landscapes and seascapes
As a result of its continual updating, expansion and deepening of content, we now know better than ever before that the prognosis for species across the Planet is dire. This volume reports new information on freshwater and marine species, which deliver important ecosystem services, including the provisioning of protein to some of the world's poorest communities. These species are now known to be facing extreme threat from overexploitation and habitat loss. The new insights presented here also help us to better understand the most likely differential responses and geographical patterns expected when the effects of global climate change begin to impact the world's most susceptible species. This cutting-edge work will provide predictive abilities to long-range planning and policy development as the effects of climate change are increasingly felt across the globe.