The sampled red list index for plants, phase II: ground-truthing specimen-based conservation assessments

N. Brummitt, S.P. Bachman, E. Aletrari, H. Chadburn, J. Griffiths-Lee, M. Lutz, J. Moat, M.C. Rivers, M.M. Syfert, E.M. Nic Lughadha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


The IUCN Sampled Red List Index (SRLI) is a policy response by biodiversity scientists to the need to estimate trends in extinction risk of the world’s diminishing biological diversity. Assessments of plant species for the SRLI project rely predominantly on herbarium specimen data from natural history collections, in the overwhelming absence of accurate population data or detailed distribution maps for the vast majority of plant species. This creates difficulties in re-assessing these species so as to measure genuine changes in conservation status, which must be observed under the same Red List criteria in order to be distinguished from an increase in the knowledge available for that species, and thus re-calculate the SRLI. However, the same specimen data identify precise localities where threatened species have previously been collected and can be used to model species ranges and to target fieldwork in order to test specimenbased range estimates and collect population data for SRLI plant species. Here, we outline a strategy for prioritizing fieldwork efforts in order to apply a wider range of IUCN Red List criteria to assessments of plant species, or any taxa with detailed locality or natural history specimen data, to produce a more robust estimation of the SRLI.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. B, Biological Sciences
Issue number1662
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 2015


  • Sampled-red-list-index
  • Plants
  • IUCN Red List
  • Conservation-assessments
  • Ground-truthing


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