The Living Rainforest

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

Status Description
Extinct 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.
Endangered A species faces a very high risk of extinction in the wild.
Vulnerable 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.)