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Prioritizing the reassessment of data deficient species on the IUCN Red List

Cazalis, V., Santini, L., Lucas, P. M., González-Suárez, M. ORCID:, Hoffman, M., Benítez-López, A., Pacifici, M., Schipper, A. M., Böhm, M., Zizka, A., Clausnitzer, V., Meyer, C., Jung, M., Butchart, S. H. M., Cardoso, P., Mancini, G., Akçakaya, H. R., Young, B. E., Patoine, G. and Di Marco, M. (2023) Prioritizing the reassessment of data deficient species on the IUCN Red List. Conservation Biology, 37 (6). e14139. ISSN 1523-1739 (e14139)

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/cobi.14139


Despite being central to the implementation of conservation policies, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is hampered by the 14% of species classified as Data Deficient (DD), either because information to evaluate these species‟ extinction risk was lacking when they were last assessed or because assessors did not appropriately account for uncertainty. With limited funds and time for reassessment, robust methods are needed to identify which DD species are more likely to be reclassified in one of the data sufficient Red List categories. Here we present a reproducible workflow to help Red List assessors prioritise reassessment of DD species, and tested it with 6,887 DD species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, and Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies). Our workflow provides for each DD species: (i) the probability of being classified in a data sufficient category if reassessed today, (ii) the change in such probability since last assessment, and (iii) whether the species might qualify as threatened based on the recent rate of habitat loss. Combining these three elements, our workflow provides a priority list for reassessment of species more likely to be data sufficient, thus ultimately improving knowledge of poorly known species and the comprehensiveness and representativeness of the IUCN Red List.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
ID Code:112543


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