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Complete Title: 
Guidelines for the application of IUCN Red List of Ecosystems categories and criteria
IUCN Publication

The IUCN Red List of Ecosystems is a global framework for monitoring the status of ecosystems. It is part of the growing toolbox for assessing risks to biodiversity and aims to support conservation, resource use, and management decisions by identifying ecosystems most at risk of biodiversity loss. The basis of the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems is the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems Categories and Criteria, a set of eight categories and five criteria that provide a consistent method for assessing the risk of ecosystem collapse. These Guidelines assist correct implementation of the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems Categories and Criteria by providing information on the development of the protocol and a detailed overview of the scientific foundations supporting the categories and criteria.

Gland : IUCN, 2017
Physical Description: 
ill., maps
Publication Year: 

Includes bibliographic references


The print copy available in the IUCN library is version 1.0. Version 1.1 is only available electronically. 


DOI for version 1.0 : 10.2305/IUCN.CH.2016.RLE.1.en

DOI for version 1.1 : 10.2305/IUCN.CH.2016.RLE.3.en


Guidelines have been updated to include new research published between v1.0 and v1.1.

Revisions in v1.1:

  • New section: 3.3.4 Making the most of quantitative data and expert knowledge
  • New Fig. 8 and Fig. 9 
  • Incorporated recent research on performance of range size measures 
  • Change of language from ‘location’ to ‘threatdefined location’ to avoid ambiguity with locality

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Record created: 2015/12/18
Record updated: 2021/04/30