Fifty years ago, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) set up the Red List. This is a list of species that are classified into groups based on how threatened and at risk of extinction they are.
Species are placed on a list ranging from Least Concern through to Extinct based on the following characteristics:
- The total size of the population
- If the population size is increasing or decreasing
- Where the species is found
- The quality and extent of suitable habitat for the species
- What threats the species faces
This information can then be used by organisations like ZSL to decide which species to prioritise for conservation action. Almost all of the animals we work with here at ZSL London Zoo and ZSL Whipsnade Zoo have been categorised by the Red List. Some are classified as ‘of least concern’ so we know they are doing ok in the wild. But many are more threatened and ZSL is therefore working to ensure their survival in the future.
Watch the video below to learn more about how ZSL staff use the IUCN Red List:
Schools can discover more about ZSL's work and usage of the IUCN Red List by using our fun educational trails. Download here:
ZSL London Zoo
- Red List Safari Trail - ZSL London Zoo (391.56 KB)
- Red List Safari Trail Teachers Notes - ZSL London Zoo (2.77 MB)
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo