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Application of the Red‐List Index at a National Level for Multiple Species Groups

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Abstract

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List Index (RLI) is recognized as one of the key indicators of trends in the status of species. The red‐list assessment done by Finnish authorities of species in Finland is taxonomically one of the most extensive national assessments. We used the Finnish Red Lists from 2000 and 2010 to calculate for the first time the national RLIs for 11 taxonomic groups at different trophic levels and with different life cycles. The red‐list index is calculated on the basis of changes in red‐list categories and indicates trends in the status of biological diversity of sets of species. The RLI value ranges from 0 to 1. The lower the value the faster the set of species is heading toward extinction. If the value is 1, all species in the set are least concern and if the value is 0, all species are (regionally) extinct. The overall RLI of Finnish species decreased. This means that, in Finland, these taxonomic groups were heading toward extinction faster in 2010 than in 2000. Of the analyzed groups of organisms, RLIs of 5 decreased and RLIs of 6 increased. At the national level, the RLIs and status trends varied markedly between species groups. Thus, we concluded that generalizations on the basis of RLIs of a few taxa only may yield a biased view of ongoing trends in the status of biological diversity at the species level. In addition, one overall RLI that includes many different species groups may also be misleading if variation in RLI among species groups is not considered and if RLI values are not presented separately for each group.

Aplicación del Índice de la Lista Roja a Nivel Nacional para Grupos de Especies Múltiples
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Language: English

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2013

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