The IUCN Conservation Status Explained

The IUCN conservation status records whether animal or plant species is threatened with extinction in their native home.

The conservation status is based on up-to-date scientific information by specialist groups. This is published in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) is a global conservation group that researches threatened species and coordinates practical conservation plans.

Conservation Scale


After exhaustive surveys, the last known individual has died.

Extinct in the Wild When a species survives in captivity, cultivation, or has a naturalized population/s well outside the past range.

Critically endangered

When a species faces an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild.


A species faces a very high risk of extinction in the wild.


A species faces a high risk of extinction in the wild.

Near threatened

A species likely to qualify for threatened category in the near future, perhaps very quickly depending on local development projects such as rainforest logging.

Least concern

A species is widespread and abundant.

Data deficient

When there is not enough information to assess the risk of extinction (based on distribution/population status).

Not evaluated

A species has not yet been evaluated against the above criteria.

Adapted from IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (Categories & Criteria, version 3.1.)

Any listed conservation status in The Living Rainforest animal and plant profiles are from the up-to-date IUCN online database (Summer 2008).

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