What Is Red Data Book? Advantage & Disadvantage Of Red Data Book

What is red data book

Red Data Book pdf – The Red Data Book is a public document which is created for recording endangered and rare species of plants, animals, fungi as well as some local subspecies which are present in a particular region.The topic of what is red data book comes frequently, thus we are here to assist in understanding that a red data book is useful for supplying precise information for studies and investigations. It also aids in the monitoring of rare and endangered species.

Advantages of red data book helps us in providing complete information for research, studies and also for monitoring the programs on rare and endangered species and their habitats. Moreover, red data book is mainly created to identify and protect those species which are on the verge of extinction.

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Overview of the IUCN

Currently, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) maintains the Red Data Book. IUCN is the world’s most detailed inventory centre of the global conservation status of biological species. It was founded in 1948 with an aim to maintain a complete record of every species that ever lived. Further, it uses a set of criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of thousands of species and subspecies.

Thus, these criteria are relevant to all species and all regions of the world. Since it has a strong scientific base, the IUCN Red List is recognized as the most authoritative guide to the status of biological diversity. IUCN has offices in more than 50 countries and runs projects all around the world.

We have Member organizations and State Members in more than 160 countries and a network of over 17,000 voluntary scientists and experts spanning the globe. Their mission is to


Brief History of the Red Data Book

The name of this book has its origins from Russia, it was originally known as the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation or the RDBRF. Further, the book was based on research conducted between 1961 and 1964 by biologists in Russia. Hence, it is also called as the Russian Red Data Book.

It contains the complete list of threatened species. The main aim behind this documentation is to provide complete information for research and analysis of different species. Further, the Red Data Book contains colour-coded information sheets, which are arranged according to the extinction risk of many species and subspecies.

  • Black for species which are confirmed to be extinct.
  • Red represents species that are endangered
  • Amber for those species whose status is considered to be vulnerable
  • White is assigned for species that are rare
  • Green for species that were formerly endangered, but their numbers have started to recover
  • Grey coloured for the species that are classified as vulnerable, endangered, or rare but sufficient information is not available to be properly classified.

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red data book

Therefore, in a nutshell, the Red Data Book indexes species as:

  • Threatened
  • Not threatened
  • Unknown

Advantages of the Red Data Book

  1. It helps in identifying all animals, birds and other species about their conservation status.
  2. Further, it is used to evaluate the population of a particular species.
  3. Advantages of red data book is that the data available in this book can be used to evaluate the taxs at the global level.
  4. With the help of this book, we can estimate the risk of taxa becoming globally extinct.
  5. Lastly, this book provides a framework or guidelines for implementing protective measures for endangered species.

Disadvantages of the Red Data Book

  1. The information available in it is incomplete. Many species, both extinct and extant are not updated in this book.
  2. The source of the book’s data has been speculated and has been mired in controversy.
  3. This book maintains the complete record of all animals, plants, other species but it has no information about the microbes.
  4. In 1997, the IUCN Red List received criticism on the grounds of secrecy (or at least poor documentation) surrounding the sources of its data.
  5. It has been suggested that the IUCN Red List and similar works are prone to misuse by governments and other groups that draw possibly inappropriate conclusions on the state of the environment or to affect exploitation of natural resources.

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Red Data List (India)

Critically endangered mammals include:

  1. Kondana Rat
  2. Malabar Civet
  3. Kashmir Stag
  4. River Dolphins

Critically endangered arthropods include:

  1. Rameshwaram Parachute spider
  2. Peacock Tarantula

Critically endangered fish include:

  1. Pookode Lake barb
  2. Ganges River shark
  3. Pondicherry shark

Critically endangered amphibians and reptiles include:

  1. Gharial
  2. White-spotted bush frog
  3. Toad-skinned frog


Red Data Book pdf – The number of species which have been assessed for the Red List has been increasing over time. As of 2019, of 105,000 species surveyed, 28,338 are considered at risk of extinction because of human activity, in particular like overfishing, hunting, land development, etc. We must act now and save these species as it is detrimental to the ecosystem and life as we know it. We must also raise awareness of the advantages of  red data book.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is red data book?

Red data book is the document established by IUCN for documenting the rare and endangered species of plants, animals, fungi and also a few local species that exist within a state or country.

How is it important?

Red data book is beneficial for providing detailed information for studies and researches. It also helps in monitoring programs on rare and endangered species. It thus helps in protecting the species that are on the verge of extinction.

The red data book is maintained by which organisation?

The red data book is maintained by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. This organization was founded in 1948 and works in the field of conservation of nature and sustainable use of natural resources.

How is the Red List different from the Red Data Book?

The red list contains only the names of the endangered species, however, the Red Data Book contains the information about the species that are on the verge of extinction.

What is a green data book?

The green databook is a small pocket-sized book containing environmental data of more than 200 economies. It is based on world development indicators. Agriculture, forestry, biodiversity, pollution, and sanitation are the key indicators.

Which are the critically endangered species of India as per the Red Data List?

The critically endangered species of India are:

  • Kashmir Stag
  • River Dolphins
  • Kondana rat
  • Malabar Civet

What are vulnerable species?

Vulnerable species are those that are likely to become endangered in the near future. Vulnerability is mainly caused due to loss of habitat.