How many where?

The Red-listing training course. ©JNCC
The Species Status Assessment project was established by JNCC in 1999, with the aim of assigning conservation status to British species. This task was undertaken in collaboration with the country conservation bodies, voluntary conservation organisations and leading specialists, and led to the production of  both Red Data Books and National Reviews. The most recent of these was The Odonata Red Data List for Great Britain (Daguet, C., French, G., Taylor, P., (eds)) published in 2008.

As part of a wider review of JNCC’s work in support of UK conservation standards, there is now greater clarity as to our role in the assessment of species’conservation status, specifically in relation to the production of Red Lists. Quite obviously there is still a clear need to know how threatened species are, so that appropriate conservation action can be planned.


JNCC continues to recognise the merit in Red Lists but will no longer initiate, lead, or produce the taxon-specific scientific content of Red Lists. Apart from meeting existing commitments, JNCC’s role will change to one of helping the compilers of the lists to follow the IUCN process, as well as understanding how the lists will be quality assured. JNCC will then assess Red Lists with regard to process compliance.


What this means in practice is that JNCC will carry out a robust quality assurance assessment to ensure that draft Red Lists meet the strict scientific standards of the IUCN. This includes tasks such as ensuring the correct application of the IUCN Red List criteria, checking for scientific rigour and confirming that there has been expert peer review of the Red Listed species. JNCC will also provide guidance for those specialist societies wishing to develop or revise such lists. When these required standards are met, JNCC will offer endorsement of the work and publication on the JNCC website.


Our strong partnership with the IUCN Species Programme Red List Unit is invaluable in this quality assurance role, and JNCC staff have recently undergone further training, provided by IUCN, to strengthen our capacity to undertake the quality assurance and guidance role.


For full details of the JNCC position, go to, where further resources on the role of Red List assessments and the application of  IUCN Red List criteria can be accessed.



Ant Maddock 

Senior Biodiversity Officer

Tel: +44 (0) 1733 866936