our threatened plants and animals
is a Red List?
A Red List is a objective and scientific system for determining threat
status of species. The International
Union for Conservation of Nature developed an accurate system
for use at the national and regional level. The international
Red List is generated by the IUCN, but each country is also encouraged
to develop their own list.
What is the Red List used for?
This scientifically evaluated list allows sophisticated biodiversity
analyses, which will contribute to scientific discovery and to political
policies related to conservation. Governments, the private sector,
multilateral agencies responsible for natural resource use, and environmental
treaties all need access to the latest information on biodiversity
when making environment-related decisions. Information about species
and ecosystems is essential for moving towards more sustainable use
of our natural resources.
The overall aim of the Red List is to convey the urgency and scale
of conservation problems to the public and policy makers, and to motivate
the global community to try to reduce species extinctions.
Some questions that the Red List helps to answer:
- How threatened
is a particular species?
- What are
the threats to a species?
- How many
threatened species occur?
- How many
known extinctions have there been?
Some of the
uses of the Red List include:
- Draws attention
to the magnitude and importance of threatened biodiversity.
and documents those species most in need of conservation action.
an index of the decline of biodiversity.
a baseline from which to monitor the future status of species.
information to help establish conservation priorities and guide
- Helps influence
national and international policy, and provides information to
international agreements such as the Convention on Biological
Diversity (CBD) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered
Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
do the categories on our Red List mean?
categories used in the Singapore Red Data Book are based on those
used by the International
Union for Conservation of Nature for the international
Red List.These categories, except for the first one, refer specifically
to the national status in Singapore.
EX: Globally extinct - The species is extinct the world over,
in the wild or cultivation.
NE: Presumed nationally extinct - The species is extinct
in Singapore but still survives outside Singapore. A species is
presumed nationally extinct if it has not been recorded within the
last 30 years for plants, or 50 years for animals.
CR: Critically endangered - There are fewer than 50 mature
individuals, OR more than 50 mature individuals but less than 250,
with some evidence of decline or fragmentation.
EN: Endangered - There are fewer than 250 mature individuals,
and no other evidence of decline or fragmentation.
VU: Vulnerable - There are fewer than 1,000 mature individuals
but more than 250 and there may or may not be any other evidence
of decline, small range size or fragmentation.
Why do we still commonly encounter some plants and animals on the
Red List? Aren't they all supposed to be extinct?
A plant and animal on the Red List is not necessarily extinct. While
some may still be common in a particular habitat or location, these
habitats may be much smaller in extent than in the past or under
threat of being lost to development. Thus the animals that depend
on these habitats are under threat as well.
Why is a particular animal on our Red List
when they are still very commonly sold and eaten in nearby countries?
In Singapore, we have lost many of the natural habitats that are
still common in our neighbouring countries. Thus while some plants
and animals found in such natural habitats may be common elsewhere,
in Singapore, these are under threat of disappearing when their
natural habitats are lost.
Why are some 'extinct' plants and animals
The label extinct depends on non-sighting. This can happen simply
because people aren't looking or looking hard enough. Some plants
and animals that are labelled extinct may be 're-discovered' through
a more thorough search. This is why it is important to regularly
visit our shores and natural places.
Which animals on wild facts are on our
Here's links to lists and factsheets
of some of the plants and animals, currently only marine ones.