New IUCN status

IUCN Logo.

If you’re like me, you like to stay apprised of the conservation status of cichlid species around the world. One of the best ways to do this is to visit the Red List, maintained by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This list measures the extinction risk of threatened species (both flora and fauna) on our planet. I’ve written a couple of posts about cichlids and the Red List, which you can find here and here. The new status is called the Green Status of Species.

According to the IUCN website:

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.

The Red List and the Green Status are not to be confused as opposing status indicators, rather

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.

While the framework for the Green Status category was established in 2018, a recent study formally applied the framework to an initial set of 181 species. Published in the latest issue of the scientific journal Conservation Biology, the study is titled “Testing a global standard for quantifying species recovery and assessing conservation impact.” I read through the species list in the study, and no cichlids were included in this initial assessment. However, as this framework matures, expect to see this status increasingly appear for cichlids already on the Red List.

A shout out to Mongabay for their article about the new Green Status study. You might also read this article about the Green Status on the IUCN’s website. 


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