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Trends in Ecology & Evolution
Volume 37 (4), 2022, Pages 359-370

Bridging the research-implementation gap in IUCN Red List assessments

Victor Cazalis1,2, Moreno Di Marco3, Stuart H.M. Butchart4,5, H. Resit Akçakaya6,7

German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Puschstr. 4, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany.

Abstract

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species is central in biodiversity conservation, but insufficient resources hamper its long-term growth, updating, and consistency. Models or automated calculations can alleviate those challenges by providing standardised estimates required for assessments, or prioritising species for (re-)assessments. However, while numerous scientific papers have proposed such methods, few have been integrated into assessment practice, highlighting a critical research–implementation gap. We believe this gap can be bridged by fostering communication and collaboration between academic researchers and Red List practitioners, and by developing and maintaining user-friendly platforms to automate application of the methods. We propose that developing methods better encompassing Red List criteria, systems, and drivers is the next priority to support the Red List.

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