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Why Are Species Important?

The Species sub-goal measures the average status of conservation of marine species using data on their risk categories (i.e. how many are categorized as endangered or threatened).

Goal Score

84 The goal score for Sub-Goal: Species is 84 out of 100. The global average score is 71 out of 100.

Likely Future State


It is estimated that in the near future the score for Sub-Goal: Species will improve roughly +11%.
global score


What Does This Score Mean?

The reference point for this sub-goal is for all species within a country to be categorized at very low levels of extinction risk, or “least concern” on the IUCN’s (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) Red List, and for none to be listed as vulnerable, threatened or endangered.

It is important to recognize that this score represents a small sample of existing marine biodiversity, since IUCN data currently only exists for about 10% of known marine species. Moreover, at least three times as many species are estimated to exist but have not yet been described.

The score is highest when all native species in a given country are free from risk (invasive species are excluded), and it is 0 when up to 75% of native species are at high risk (this is a level comparable to prehistoric mass extinctions).

Current Score
The current score indicates that the desired reference point has not been achieved and that there is the potential risk of losing a significant proportion of marine species diversity.

More Information


IUCN Red List
Myers, R. A., Baum, J. K., Shepherd, T. D., Powers, S. P. & Peterson, C. H. Cascading Effects of the Loss of Apex Predatory Sharks from a Coastal Ocean. Science 315, 1846–1850 (2007).

Aqua Maps
Kaschner, K., J. Rius-Barile, K. Kesner-Reyes, C. Garilao, S.O. Kullander, T. Rees, and R. Froese. 2013. AquaMaps: Predicted range maps for aquatic species. World wide web electronic publication, www.aquamaps.org, Version 08/2013.

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