Funded by the European Commission since 2006, the European Red List is compiled by IUCN’s Global Species Programme in collaboration with the Species Survival Commission and other partners and experts. To date 9,735 species have been assessed on the European Red List including all vertebrate species (mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds and fishes), all dragonflies, all butterflies, all bees, all freshwater molluscs and a selection of terrestrial molluscs, saproxylic beetles and plants.
IUCN assessed the status of the aforementioned species using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria, which are the most widely accepted system for measuring extinction risk globally. All assessments followed the guidelines for Application of IUCN Red List Criteria at regional levels.
The assessment of all grasshoppers and crickets is ongoing and will be completed by November 2016. Additionally, IUCN has recently been awarded a project funded by the European Commission’s LIFE financial instrument which will allow for the assessment of all bryophytes, ferns and trees, a selection of shrubs, saproxylic beetles and all remaining terrestrial molluscs. This project is co-financed by other donors/organisations and supported by the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic and ArtDatabanken from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. These assessments are set to be completed by 2018.
Developing European Red Lists for these species groups will provide a comprehensive overview of their extinction risk and distributions in Europe, and will contribute to guiding policy decisions and conservation actions. These new assessments will supplement the existing European Red Lists and will provide a detailed picture of the status of biodiversity in Europe, thus, contributing to making the European Red List a Barometer of Life.