The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is an organization working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. It was established in 1948 and located at Gland VD, Switzerland. It is involved in data gathering and analysis research, field projects and education on conservation, sustainable development and biodiversity. IUCN’s mission is to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable. It influences governments and industries through partnerships by providing information and advice. The organization collects, compiles and publishes the IUCN red list of threatened species and their conservation status in the world. It plays a vital role in the implementation of several international conventions on nature conservation and biodiversity.
Red Data book or Red list is a catalogue of taxa facing risk of extinction. IUCN – International Union of Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, which is renamed as WCU – World Conservation Union (Morges Switzerland) maintains the Red Data book. The concept of Red list was mooted in 1963. The purpose of preparation of Red List are:
· To create awareness on the degree of threat to biodiversity
· Identification and documentation of species at high risk of extinction
· Provide global index on declining biodiversity
· Preparing conservation priorities and help in conservation of action
· Information on international agreements on conservation of biological diversity
Red list has eight categories of species i) Extinct ii) Extinct in wild iii) Critically Endangered iv) Endangered v)Vulnerable iv) Lower risk vii) Data deficiency viii) Not evaluated.