Red Data Book
The Red Data Book is basically a document which is maintained by a state/nation. It is used for recording and documenting the rare and endangered species of flora and fauna which exist within the boundary of that particular state/nation. Several endangered species and subspecies of plants, fungi and animals are entered in the Red Data Book.
The Red Data Book helps in providing detailed information for conducting studies and research on endangered species and subspecies of animals. It also becomes useful in coordinating and developing monitoring programs for endangered and rare species. It also helps in finding effective measures for protecting various endangered species.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) maintains the Red Data Book. The organization came into existence in 1965. It works towards conservation of nature and promotes sustainable use of the natural resources.
The first Red Data Book was prepared based on the thorough research carried out by biologists of the Soviet Union between the years 1961-64. The document comprised the list of all endangered species of plants, fungi and animals within Russia. It was known as the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation (RDBRF).
The IUCN has formulated a universally applicable criteria for evaluating the risk of extinction of thousands of endangered species and subspecies across the world. The Red Data Book is identified as the most authoritative source with respect to the current status of biological diversity in the world at any given point of time. Apart from centralized IUCN Red Data Book, there are several regional/national red data books which are maintained by individual states/nations. These books contain cumulative data concerning endangered species within their territorial boundaries.
Objectives of IUCN
- Provide scientific information on the status of species and subspecies at an international level.
- Draw attention towards the magnitude and importance of threatened biodiversity.
- Aims at influencing national and international policy and decision-making.
- Provides information regarding actions to be taken for conserving biological diversity.
The Red Data Book information is given in a carefully color coded section indicating the level of endangerment that a particular species has been found in.
Red Data Book: Meanings of Color Coding
Black: Refers to extinct species.
Red: Indicates critically endangered species.
Orange: ‘stands for’ endangered species.
Amber: denotes vulnerable species.
White: symbolizes rare species.
Green: highlights out of danger species.
Grey: signifies endangered, vulnerable or rare species. Due to lack of sufficient information, it is difficult to precisely categorize them.
- Can be used for population estimation.
- Helps in evaluation of taxa at a pan-global scale.
- Helps in finding out conservation status of species.
- Is used for evaluating the risk of endangerment of any species at any given time.
- Helps in developing conservation plans for endangered species.
- At times, documentation regarding the source of the data is not properly maintained. Hence, the validity of the data can be questioned!
- The ‘Red Data Book’ is a work in progress! Still requires a lot of updating!
Red Data Book of India
As per the IUCN Red Data Book of India,
- Malabar Civet (Viverra civettina) is a critically endangered mammal.
- Dhole / Asiatic wild dog or Indian wild dog (Cuon alpinus) and Lion-tailed macaque / wanderoo (macaca silenus) are among the endangered mammals.
- Gaur / Indian Bison and Nilgiri marten (Martes gwatkinsii) are among the vulnerable mammals.
- Spoon Billed Sandpiper (Eurynorhynchus pygmeus) is an example of a critically endangered bird.
- Diaspora day gecko (Cnemaspis sisparensis) is among the near threatened reptiles.
Answer) The Red Data Book is basically a document which is maintained by a state/nation. It is used for recording and documenting the rare and endangered species of flora and fauna which exist within the boundary of that particular state/nation.
Answer) International Union for Conservation of Nature.