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The Danish red list

The Danish Red List is a record of the Danish plant and animal species that have been assessed according to the Red List Guidelines prepared by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). A Red List assessment is essentially an evaluation of plant and animal species’ risk of extinction. To gain an overview and facilitate comparison, all species which have been assessed are included on the Danish Red List. The list therefore provides an overview of the number and status of all species registered in Denmark within the groups dealt with.

Plant and animal species become extinct (or come into being) as part of Earth’s natural processes. Over the past 100 years, increasing human activity has caused the risk that any given species will become extinct to rise.

The IUCN has developed a system for the assessment of a species’ risk of becoming extinct. Like previous versions, the current system is based on a number of categories that reflect the individual species’ risk of becoming extinct.

The new element in the system is that all plant and animal species can now be categorised, and that this is done on the basis of one or more qualitative and quantitative criteria. Furthermore, criteria documentation has been introduced to ensure that the placement in any given category is well-founded.

The system was designed to carry out Red List assessments globally. Furthermore, the system allows for national level Red List assessment so that various countries can Red List in a uniform and comparable manner.

The quality and objectivity requirements involved in Red List assessments of species have increased, making it more time-consuming to perform Red List assessments in accordance with the IUCN criteria. The idea is to regularly revise Red List assessments to reflect the ongoing changes in the status of the species.

Please note that until a species is Red List assessed under the current system, its assessment under the 1997 Red List remains valid.


The objective of the Red List work is to provide a basis for assessment of the developments in biological diversity in Denmark and to fulfil international obligations entered into in pursuance of the Convention on Biological Diversity, which was ratified by Denmark in 1994. The Convention on Biological Diversity defines the following subsidiary goals:

  • to draw attention to species that are extinct or endangered,
  • to create the foundation for prioritising nature monitoring initiatives in Denmark
  • to establish a platform for nature management and nature protection work, nationally as well as internationally, and
  • to fulfil international obligations under the Convention on Biological Diversity through regular publication of Red Lists presenting naturally occurring, extinct and threatened species of Danish nature.

More information

Read more about the content and structure, function and background of the Red List system in the Danish guideline on red-listing of plant and animal species.



The Danish Red List should be cited as follows in Danish:

Wind, P. & Pihl. S. (red.): Den danske rødliste. - Danmarks Miljøundersøgelser, Aarhus Universitet, [2004]-. redlist.dmu.dk (opdateret i april 2010)

Wind, P. & Pihl, S. (Eds.): The Danish Red List. - The National Environmental Research Institute, Aarhus University [2004]-.redlist.dmu.dk (updated April 2010)