IUCN Global Species Assessments


In 2001, an initiative began, spearheaded by IUCN in partnership with Conservation International and NatureServe, to undertake the first comprehensive assessment of the conservation status of all known amphibian species. This initiative, known as the Global Amphibian Assessment (GAA), was completed in 2004 for all amphibian species recognised at the time.

 

The GAA data were made available nearly simultaneously in an independent website (www.globalamphibians.org, which is no longer active), kindly provided by NatureServe, and in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Following the successful completion of this GAA, subsequent Global Species Assessments have begun to fully assess the conservation status of all species in other key taxonomic groups selected for their value as indicators of the health of biodiversity more widely. IUCN has now completed global assessments for mammals and, in collaboration with BirdLife International, birds. Ongoing Global Species Assessments include those focused on reptiles, selected freshwater taxonomic groups (including dragonflies and damselflies, freshwater fish, molluscs and crustaceans), crop wild relatives, cacti, bumblebees, and marine fish.

 

Once completed, global assessments  provide a critical dataset for evaluating the health of key elements of biodiversity and identifying threats to their survival. These results underpin many conservation initiatives from the level of individual threatened species protection to global mapping of threats to biodiversity. Global assessments for a particular taxonomic group are updated following a 10-year cycle, and the global assessments therefore provide an essential baseline, allowing trends in the conservation status of each group and the ecosystems they represent to be tracked over time.

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