National Red Lists now online
Monday 22 June 2009
International targets set for reducing biodiversity loss may still be achieved with the help of a new online conservation tool.
The new initiative led by ZSL brings together information on the world’s threatened species and demonstrates that we know the least about the status of animals and plants in areas where diversity is greatest.
This means that in parts of the world where conservation planning may be most critical, we lack information to effectively prioritise and manage species.
“Producing National Red Lists is a critical first stage in identifying where species are threatened, why they are threatened and what needs to be done about it. We tend to know the least about threatened species in the parts of the world where extinctions are occurring most rapidly.
'Implementing national red lists will help to address this imbalance and greatly assist us in effective conservation action,” says Jonathan Baillie, ZSL's Director of Conservation Programmes.
The capacity-building National Red List website currently holds over 50,000 species from 40 countries and regions. It highlights that some of the world’s most biodiverse countries, such as Indonesia and Madagascar, lack National Red Lists and are in dire need of conservation investment.
(c)Richard Lee ”This is the first time that National Red Lists have been centralised, thus providing a powerful information resource for conservation action at the national level. It is a powerful complementary information source to The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™” says Jane Smart, Head of IUCN Species Programme.
The website will also allow people to track the success of their nation in meeting the targets to reduce biodiversity loss by 2010, set by the Convention on Biological Diversity.