Biodiv Sci ›› 2012, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (5): 612-622.  DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1003.2012.11145

Special Issue: 创刊20周年纪念专刊

• Editorial • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Assessing species endangerment status: progress in research and an example from China

Zhigang Jiang1,*(), Zhenhua Luo1,2   

  1. 1 Key Laboratory of Animal Ecology and Conservation Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101
    2 Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049
  • Received:2012-07-17 Accepted:2012-08-13 Online:2012-09-20 Published:2012-09-07
  • Contact: Zhigang Jiang


It is an important task in biodiversity conservation to assess species endangerment status and determine protection priorities. Although IUCN Redlist Criteria are improving through periodical revision, people are still developing different criteria because information about population census, habitat status and life history of a given species are often lacking. We reviewed the progress of assessing species endangerment status, both internationally and domestically, and propose that future designations combine distribution area, life history, ecological function, anthropogenic interference and special use data to more accurately assess endangerment status. As an example, we assessed the status of terrestrial vertebrates in China using this method. Our results showed that five species were listed in the category of extinct, 30 species were extinct, 343 species were endangered, 459 species were threatened, 439 species were concerned, and 1,032 species were least concerned.

Key words: Criteria for assessing species endangerment status, extinction, endangered species, threatened species, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians