The IUCN/SSC Shark Specialist Group
IUCN/SSC Red List
2003 IUCN Red List Of Threatened Species Adds 185 Chondrichthyans
The number of known threatened species has topped 12,000 according to the
2003 update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species that was released on
18 November amid widespread global media interest.
Sharks were highlighted in the press release by IUCN and many of our members have done
subsequent interviews raising the interest and awareness far and wide.
From a global perspective, there are now 185 chondrichthyan species on the
IUCN Red List in the Categories Ex to DD, and of these 57 are threatened
(Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable). These numbers
increase to 214 and 76 respectively if you also consider regional
subpopulations. The total number of chondrichthyan taxa evaluated
increases to 288, if you include the Least Concern taxa (Least Concern taxa
do not appear on the Red List as they are not considered threatened).
These numbers will continue to increase. The Shark Specialist Group
is still extremely active and continuing to workshops to assess the
status of the entire group.
The 2003 Red List includes results from a workshop held earlier this
year to assess the status of Australian and New Zealand sharks. Since
then we have held workshops in South Africa, Brazil and the
Mediterranean. These results (currently under evaluation) and others will
feed through to the Red List in 2004.