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A Practical Guide for to Application of the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems Criteria

A new contribution to IUCN's RLE: “A practical Guide to the Application of the UICN Red List of Ecosystems Criteria” is now available.

Laurel forest, a relic ecosystem of the Tertiary age. Garajonay National Park, Spain. (c) Annelie Fincke


On January, 15th, 2015 Rodriguez and his collaborators presented a new contribution on the IUCN Red List of Ecosystem: the article “A practical Guide to the Application of the UICN Red List of Ecosystems Criteria” on the Philosophical Transaction of the Royal Society B journal. Such article is based on the version 2.0 of the Categories and Criteria of the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems, but contrary to the previous articles (Rodríguez et al. 2011Keith et al. 2013), it was thought as a practical guide for those professionals who wish to broadly implement this risk evaluation protocol of ecosystems in terrestrial, maritime, fluvial and subterranean environments on sub-national, national or regional levels. In the article, the best practices for such evaluations were summarized which warrant methodological accuracy on the risk estimation, the process standardization, the decreasing of uncertainty and the comparison among ecosystems throughout time.

         IUCN RLE Categories

                                                                                                                      The collapse risk of ecosystems is evaluated using five criteria based on one or more variables, which may be specific for particular ecosystems, following proper standardization procedures. Thus, the article evaluates the application of a model that identifies collapse symptoms through distribution and functionality changes in the ecosystems that are measured by the losses of processes and biotic interactions, and the degradation of the abiotic environment, as well as the quantitative estimations of the collapse risk.

The proper implementation of such method allows obtaining a powerful tool to monitor the diversity global change, inform about the resulting actions for conservation and promote effective communication with the decision-makers in all sectors. It will also allow increasing the reporting capacity when reaching the Aichi Goals for Biological Diversity. Additionally, it is expected that, once the method is integrated with other IUCN products such as the World Database of Protected Areas, the Biodiversity Key Areas and the Red List of Threatened Species, it will be generated the most complete biodiversity measure, globally developed up to the date.

We invite you to read this article on our section of Key Documents. And in the case you desire to obtain more information on the application of such criteria, you may visit the section of Case Studies and related publications where you can find several examples about the evaluation of different ecosystems.

Provita May 12, 2015


IUCN Red List of Ecosystems


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