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REDLISTR: Tools for the IUCN Red Lists of Ecosystems (RLE) and Threatened Species (RLTS) in R

Open-source tools for consistent application of IUCN Red List guidelines


The IUCN provides extensive guidelines on how to apply the criteria of both the Red List of Ecosystems and the Red List of Threatened Species. These, however, can be technically demanding and thus can be misapplied, leading to inconsistent and potentially unreliable assessments.

To help alleviate this problem, we have developed REDLISTR ( REDLISTR is a set of tools that can aid in the consistent application of the guidelines using the R statistical language.

Our aim with REDLISTR is to assist researchers and conservation practitioners in NGOs and governments, with diverse levels of experience in risk assessments, to conduct robust and transparent red list assessments.

REDLISTR has several functionalities, including helping users calculate spatial metrics required for red listing. Using spatial data, such as shapefiles or rasters, REDLISTR can help users calculate the Area of Occupancy (AOO) and the Extent of Occurrence (EOO) of a species’ or ecosystem’s distribution with confidence. It also calculates rates of change of species population or ecosystem area using equations recommended within both Red List guidelines. These values can subsequently be used to estimate area or populations in the past or future.Using REDLISTR allows users to set up a clearly defined pipeline, making consistent repeat assessments easy. In addition to the tools themselves, we have also written a tutorial for users less experienced in using R, along with case-studies for ecosystem and species examples.

REDLISTR is freely available both on the Comprehensive R Archive Network (CRAN) and on the RLE Tool section. Finally, we acknowledge this is a work in progress, and would appreciate any suggestions you might have for us through our GitHub page.


Written by: Calvin Lee

Style and format: Clara Gómez

Provita Jun 08, 2018


IUCN Red List of Ecosystems


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