Conservation Status Assessments
- Conifers are of major importance worldwide
- 34% of all conifer species are threatened
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ provides taxonomic, conservation status and distribution information on plants, fungi and animals that have been globally evaluated using the the IUCN's Redlist Categories and Criteria.
This information is used nationally, regionally and internationally to inform conservation decision making, priority setting and monitoring and evaluation.
The first complete assessment of conifers was undertaken in 1998. Since then our aim has been to reassess all species, subspecies and varieties over a ten year cycle. New taxa, regardless of their rank, are assessed as soon as possible after they have been formally published. New information or rapid declines may also trigger a re-assessment during the ten year cycle. All new assessments are included on the next available Redlist update. The third complete reassessment is currently in progress with a target date of 2020 for completion.
We utilise information from our own extensive field work, other members of the Conifer Specialist Group, local, national and regional experts as well as recent scientific literature to produce the most up to date assessment possible following the current IUCN Criteria and Categories.
IUCN assessments are dynmaic: Agathis montana (above), restricted to a small area of New Caledonia was assessed as Near Threatened in 2010. New information led to a reassessment of Critically Endangered in 2014 reflecting an increased dieback of mature trees (below), probably the result of fungal pathogens, disturbance by feral pigs and possibly climate change.
Key contact: Pthomas@rbge.org.uk
Global conservation assessments for all conifers are coordinated through the IUCN's Conifer Redlist Authority, based within the International Conifer Conservation Programme at the RBGE