IUCN Publishes Red List '96

By Julie Grenier, TG Magazine youth journalist

Approximately every three years the World Conservation Union publishes and distributes what is known as the IUCN "Red List".

Compiled by IUCN specialists, it is in essence an enumeration of the known animal species at risk of becoming extinct. It provides a global estimate of the number of animals who are critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable (to extinction) on a global scale. The list is drawn up by the Species Survival Commission, a commission of the IUCN, which evaluates a large variety of species around the world.

Some of the goals of the Red List are to provide scientifically-based information, create awareness of the growing problem of endangered species, influence leaders and decision-makers and provide information on how to help conserve biodiversity.

Keiren Bluestone, a communications intern at the SSC headquarters in Switzerland, says that one of the tasks of the SSC is to design a strategy on how to get leaders to take the initiative. Over the last few years, SSC got specialised groups to create over 130 action plan booklets which are available to the public, to the government and to non-governmental organisations, with the hope that someone will take action to insure the existence of these beautiful creatures for years to come.