Red Data Book


In any public territory, there is a need to record the available information regarding rare species. The Red Data Book refers to a catalogue that holds information about rare animals, fungi, and plants. Sometimes, there are different local subspecies available. The Red Data Book contains information which is available to use for any research purpose and it can help in understanding the preservation process of rare species in different ways.

What is the Information the Red Book Contains?

The information in the Red Data Books actually helps researchers a lot to find out information regarding rare species. The purpose of monitoring rare species helps to recognise the identification of their usual and unusual habits. It holds detailed data and insights about the endangered species and subspecies of any region which is helpful for the development of different research.

The monitoring programs are useful to protect the animals as this information can be used in measuring the need for security for different species. The International Union for Conservation of Nature is liable to maintain the records in the Red Data Book. This organisation was established in 1965 to ensure the sustainable use of the natural resources.

The available data recorded in the Red Data Book helps conduct different monitoring programs on rare species in a region. The process of preservation of the rare species can be decided using the available data in the Red Data Book. Researchers and biologists can use the Red Data Book and suggest different ways to preserve rare plants and animals and it will be useful to maintain the environmental balance in future.

Figure 1: Red List animals

History of the Red Data Book

The first Red Data Book was carried out by the extensive research of the biologists of the Soviet Union between the period 1961 and 1964. This documentation was formed by listing out information about all the endangered species of plants, animals, and fungi. The research was conducted in different areas of Russia. It was published as the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation (RDBRF).

The primary criteria for maintaining a Red Data Book is about the evaluation of the species that are at risk. This document contains the extinction of the thousands of endangered species across the globe. It holds information about the relevant species around the world. The selection of the species is done keeping all the relevant records in the criteria for the development of the different useful records.

Figure 2: Endangered Animals

Authoritative sources are available regarding the status of the biological diversity across the globe. The national Red Data Books, and the centralised IUCN Red Data Book, are the authenticated version that carries data sets for the animals that need to be preserved by individual nations and/or states.

Advantages of the Red Data Book

The followings are the advantages of the Red Data Book −

  • It can be utilised to estimate the total population of the overall species of plant or animal.

  • It can be operated to evaluate different researches that contain information to safeguard the species that require preservation.

  • The information available in the Red Data Book can be useful to understand the risk of the endangerment of animals, fungi, and plants from different species.

  • It can develop conservation strategies for different species.

  • It helps in the restricting hunting of different animals, deforestation, and preservation of different species.

  • Pieces of information contained in the Red data book can help in developing awareness in people.

Disadvantages of the Red Data Book

The followings are the disadvantages of the Red Data Books −

  • Documentation that is taken or recorded from different sources is not always visible in the Red Data Book. Different sources of data are not always mentioned which lacks indication of the validity of the sources.

  • Sometimes, the process of working is not defined which lacks the understanding of the available information and the reason behind the selection of the species.

  • In different areas, there are government restrictions in managing the authenticity of the actual species.

  • Few records are old and they are unreliable in the present time.

Red Data Book of India

The Red Data Book of India is separated into the following categories according to the IUCN.

  • Endangered Mammals: The Indian wild dog or Dhole (Cuon alpinus), wanderoo or the Lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri leaf monkey.

Figure 3: Dhole

  • Critically Endangered Mammals: Malabar Civet (Viverra civettina)

  • Vulnerable Mammals: The Indian Bison

The other categorisation is as the followings −

  • Black: Extinct species;

  • Red: Critically Endangered Species;

  • Orange: Endangered species;

  • Amber: Vulnerable Species;

  • White: Rare species;

  • Green: Out of Danger species;

  • Grey: Species that are endangered, vulnerable or rare but with a lack of sufficient information to precisely categorise them.


The Red Data Book offers a maintained documentation by specific territory, which establishes a record or journal that endangered species of flora/fauna exists within the boundary of the respective nation. The IUCN is the organisation that maintains the information related to the extensive research offered by biologists. The Red Data Book offers a different coloured book that describes different types of species.


Q1. What is the significance of the Red Data Book?

Ans. The Red Data Book offers different information that is related to the different species to research the species. Hence, it gives information about different species which can lead to the development of beneficial qualities among species to information regarding the species that need to be preserved.

Q2. Which organization is responsible to maintain the Red Data Book?

Ans. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) maintains the Red Data Book and also keeps track of the valuable records. It was established in 1948 to keep natural resources protected.

Q3. What are vulnerable species?

Ans. Vulnerable species are the animals that are likely to become endangered in the near future. Their extinction will result in harm to the nature and environmental balance.

Updated on: 13-Apr-2023


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