Application of IUCN red listing criteria at the regional and national levels: A case study from Central Asia
We assessed the threatened status of 163 Central Asian vertebrates using the IUCN Red List Criteria (Version 3.1) at the national and regional levels, and compared these assessments to the global assessments given in the IUCN 2002 Red List. We thus compared threat status at three spatial scales; national for five countries separately (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tadjikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan), regional for the five countries together, and global. This analysis was undertaken as a test of the applicability of IUCN criteria at the sub-global level. Generally the criteria worked well. In 4% of cases, the threat category was lower at the smaller scale of assessment. This was predominately caused by the use of decline rate criteria at the larger scale when populations at the smaller scale were stable. We also encountered issues with the listing of migratory species at the sub-global level. We used our data to carry out a preliminary assessment of Protected Area coverage in the region, and found evidence suggesting that threatened species and endemics are not well covered by the current protected area system.