A paper published today in the journal Conservation Biology has applied the IUCN Green Status of Species for the first time to 181 species in a preliminary assessment.
The IUCN Green Status of Species is a new global standard that aims to measure how close a species is to being fully ecologically functional across its range, and how much it has recovered thanks to conservation action. The standard also aims to highlight species whose current conservation status is dependent on continued conservation actions; to forecast the expected conservation impact of planned conservation action; and to elevate levels of ambition for long-term species recovery.
Based on the scores assigned to species in the study, authors proposed seven species recovery categories: fully recovered, slightly depleted, moderately depleted, largely depleted, critically depleted, extinct in the wild, and indeterminate. Results showed 59% of tested species were considered largely or critically depleted.
Species analysed in the study published today include the European eel (Anguilla anguilla) which is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List, and categorised at Critically Depleted in this study, and the Grey wolf (Canis lupus) listed as Least Concern in the Red List, but Largely Depleted in this preliminary assessment meaning it is depleted and unable to completely fulfil its role in ecosystems.
The study found that conservation has, or will, play a role in improving or maintaining species status for the vast majority of the species assessed. Many species showed high potential for recovery in the next 1o0 years with continued conservation effort.
The IUCN Green Status of Species will be integrated into the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species to provide a wider picture of the overall conservation status.