Open In App

Red Data Book

Last Updated : 01 Dec, 2023
Like Article

Red Data Book, back in history between 1961 and 1964, came into existence due to a search conducted by a Russian biologist. It is a Russian-origin name of a publication that deals particularly with endangered biological species. It provides complete information from a research point of view of all the rare, endangered, and extinct species.  

The IUCN Red Data Book is maintained by The International Union for Conservation of Nature. The Red data book list gives an estimate of the wildlife biodiversity and how it can be efficiently maintained. Many nations across the world have prepared Red Data Books for their biological resources. Some Red Data books include both plants and animals, whereas generally, the plants are dealt with separately from animals.


What is Red Data Book?

The Red Data Book is a book that contains a list of all the endangered and vulnerable species. All threatened species of plants, fungi, and microorganisms are listed in the book. It helps in identifying species that are close to extinction and gives an opportunity to conserve them. These species are then transferred to National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary.

History of Red Data Book

  • The Red Data Book came into existence after research conducted by a Soviet biologist (today’s Russia) between 1961 and 1964, which resulted in a public domain document. 
  • This book contains all the information needed to categorize species into different categories, which tells about their current situation of survival chances and the need to take into consideration conservation at various levels. 
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is involved in maintaining the Red data book. IUCN, which started back in the year 1948, and till now, has been involved in maintaining the record of every species that is scientifically recognized. 

As mentioned above, the IUCN has recognized eight Red List Categories of species, which are defined as follows: 

Red List Category

Color Coding


Examples In India



A taxon is Extinct when there is no reasonable doubt that the last individual has died.

Pink-headed Duck,Mountain Quail

Extinct in the wild


A taxon is extinct in the wild when exhaustive surveys in known and/or expected habitats have failed to record an individual.

Pygmy Hog, Siberian Crane, Forest Owlet

Critically Endangered


A taxon is critically endangered when it faces an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild in the immediate future.

Peacock Tarantula, Indian Pangolin, Red Panda



A taxon is endangered when it faces a very high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future.

Snow Leopard, Bengal Tiger,Olive Ridley Sea Turtle



A taxon is vulnerable when it is not critically endangered or endangered but is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild in the medium-term future.

Rusty-spotted Cat, Indian Sloth Bear, Nilgiri Tahr

Lower Risk


A taxon is at lower risk when it has been evaluated and does not satisfy the criteria of critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable.

Indian Peafowl, Common Myna, Indian Flying Fox

Data Deficient


A taxon is Data Deficient when there is inadequate information to make a direct or indirect assessment of its risk of extinction.

Nilgiri Laughingthrush, Malabar Tree Toad, Indian Tarantula

Not Evaluated


A taxon is Not Evaluated when it has not yet been assessed against the above criteria.

Microorganisms, Certain Plant Species,Several Insect Species

Advantages of Red Data Book

Following are the various uses of the Red Data book:

  • It helps in estimating the total population of any given species of plant or animal.
  • It aids in evaluating the taxa at a pan-global scale.
  • It helps in finding the conservation status of any species.
  • It helps in evaluating the risk of endangerment of any species of animals, plants, or fungi at any given time.
  • It helps in devising a conservation strategy for an endangered species of animals or plants.

Disadvantages of Red Data Book

The following are some disadvantages of the Red Data Book: 

  • The documentation regarding the sources of the data has not always been properly maintained, and as such, the validity of the data can sometimes be brought into question.
  • The Red Data Book is a work in progress, and not all of the endangered or extinct species have yet been identified or put in and, as such, may not provide the most accurate data at any given in time.

Red Data Book of India

According to the IUCN Red Data Book of India, the following categories of endangered species have been identified:





Critically Endangered Mammals

Malabar Civet, Kashmir Stag, River Dolphins

Endangered Mammals

Dhole/Asiatic wild dog or Indian wild dog, Lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri langur/Nilgiri leaf monkey, Nilgiri tahr.

Vulnerable Mammals

Gaur/Indian Bison, Nilgiri marten 


Critically endangered 

Rameswaram Parachute spider, Peacock Tarantula


Critically endangered 

Pookode Lake barb, Ganges River shark, Pondicherry shark


Critically endangered

White-spotted bush frog, Toad-skinned frog


Critically endangered


Also Read,

FAQ’s – Red Data Book

1. What is the Red Data Book also known as?

Red Data Book is a Public Document that deals, particularly with endangered biological species. It is also called The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species or IUCN Red list.

2.  What do Red Data Books give an account of?

It contains information needed to categorize species into different categories, which tells about their current situation of survival chances and the need to consider conservation at various levels of different plant and animal species. 

3. Who will Maintain Red Data Book?

The Red Data book is maintained by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The Red Data book contains a directory of most of the species of Flora and Fauna.

4.  What are the aims of Red Data Book?

The main aim of the Red Data Book is to verify, identify and protect the species that are becoming extinct or are critically endangered.

5. Where is the Headquarters of the Red Data Book?

The IUCN, which is responsible for maintaining the Red Data book is based in Merges, Switzerland.

Like Article
Suggest improvement
Share your thoughts in the comments

Similar Reads