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Red List Authorities

Red List Authorities (RLAs) oversee the assessment of species within their remit according to the IUCN Rules of Procedure. The role of RLAs is to ensure that all species within their remit are correctly assessed against the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria at least once every ten years and, if possible, every five years.


The roles and responsibilities of the RLA include:

  • Establishing mechanisms for assessing and regularly re-assessing species.
  • Serving as the taxonomic authority for species falling into the remit of the RLA.
  • Where RLAs do not undertake assessments themselves, they may be required to review these assessments.


Each RLA has a Coordinator who is responsible for:

  • Overseeing and coordinating Red List activities within the RLA.
  • Ensuring that at least one named independent Reviewer (who was not directly involved with the assessment) agrees with the status of each taxon assessed, based on the supporting documentation provided.
  • Ensuring assessments are submitted to The IUCN Red List in the appropriate manner.





Red List Authorities have been established for all major taxonomic groups included on the IUCN Red List. In most cases, the RLA is a sub-group within the IUCN SSC Specialist Group responsible for the species, groups of species or species within a specific geographic area. But there are exceptions; for example, BirdLife International is the designated RLA for all birds.

The full list and contact details for all appointed RLAs are available in the SSC Directory.

In cases where the SSC and its partner networks do not cover a particular taxonomic group or geographic region, the Red List Unit staff may refer assessments to the relevant Conservation Sub-Committee for review.

The Red List Unit, working together with other IUCN Global Species Programme staff and the Red List Partners will recommend the appointment of other appropriate organizations or networks as Red List Authorities.

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