Journal article

The IUCN Red List of Ecosystems: Motivations, Challenges, and Applications

David A Keith, Jon Paul Rodriguez, Thomas M Brooks, Mark A Burgman, Edmund G Barrow, Lucie Bland, Patrick J Comer, Janet Franklin, Jason Link, Michael A McCarthy, Rebecca M Miller, Nicholas J Murray, Jeanne Nel, Emily Nicholson, Maria A Oliveira-Miranda, Tracey J Regan, Kathryn M Rodriguez-Clark, Mathieu Rouget, Mark D Spalding



In response to growing demand for ecosystem-level risk assessment in biodiversity conservation, and rapid proliferation of locally tailored protocols, the IUCN recently endorsed new Red List criteria as a global standard for ecosystem risk assessment. Four qualities were sought in the design of the IUCN criteria: generality; precision; realism; and simplicity. Drawing from extensive global consultation, we explore trade-offs among these qualities when dealing with key challenges, including ecosystem classification, measuring ecosystem dynamics, degradation and collapse, and setting decision thresholds to delimit ordinal categories of threat. Experience from countries with national lists of t..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council

Funding Acknowledgements

We are grateful to: the MAVA Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Australian Research Council (LP 130100435) and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions for their support, and to all participants in the RLE consultation process for their willingness to engage in challenging and fruitful discussions. Peter Letten and Julian Keith drafted Figure 2. Thanks also to June Keith. We thank two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments.