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UCN’s New “Green Status of Species” Measures Impact of Conservation Action - IUCN

The first 181 IUCN Green Status of Species preliminary assessments are outlined in a Conservation Biology paper published today. From California condors to East Asian mangroves, the Green Status shows specific conservation metrics for focal species.

LONDON, UK – A paper published today in the journal Conservation Biology for the first time applies the IUCN Green Status of Species, a new Global Standard to measure how close a species is to being fully ecologically functional across its range, and how much it has recovered thanks to conservation action. In the paper, preliminary IUCN Green Status assessments for 181 species are presented. They range from the pink pigeon (Nesoenas mayeri), which was saved from extinction by conservation measures, to the grey wolf (Canis lupus), a species on a promising path to recovery of ecological functionality across vast areas of its past distribution – though it is currently far from its historical baseline. More than 200 authors representing 171 institutions contributed to the paper.

“Preventing the extinction of species is the ultimate goal that conservationists have traditionally pursued. But we have come to understand that true success would be to revert the decline to the point where animals, fungi and plants fulfil their ecological functions throughout their range – resulting in species that are not just surviving, but thriving,” said Dr Jon Paul Rodríguez, Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission. “As the world’s first standardized method for assessing species’ potential for and progress toward such a recovery, the IUCN Green Status will help inform conservation plans and steer action to meet national and international goals for 2030 and beyond. It also provides a metric for quantifying and celebrating conservation success.”

The IUCN Green Status of Species will be integrated into the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, which will then provide a fuller picture of species’ conservation status including both their extinction risk and recovery progress.

The IUCN Green Status classifies species into nine Species Recovery Categories, indicating the extent to which species are depleted or recovered compared to their historical population levels. Each Green Status assessment measures the impact of past conservation on a species, a species’ dependence on continuing support, how much a species stands to gain from conservation action within the next ten years, and the potential for it to recover over the next century.

Access the paper: Molly K. Grace, H. Resit A kçakaya, Joseph W. Bull, Christina Carrero, Katharine Davies, Simon Hedges, Michael Hoffmann, Barney Long, Eimear M. Nic Lughadha, Gabriel M. Martin, Fred Pilkington, Malin C. Rivers, Richard P. Young, E.J. Milner-Gulland, Building robust, practicable counterfactuals and scenarios to evaluate the impact of species conservation interventions using inferential approaches, Biological Conservation, 10.1016/j.biocon.2021.109259, 261

Posted on: 29 July 2021

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