The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is the most comprehensive source of information on the status of the world's species. It places species into different categories on a scale of risk from Least Concern to Extinct in the Wild. For zoo visitors, that often see an animal as either endangered or not, the scale offers an opportunity to clearly show the status of an animal in a visually appealing and more easily understood manner.
The IUCN is encouraging zoos and aquariums to use a standardised Red List logo, scale and button on interpretation signs for exhibits. A Zoo Info Pack containing all of the necessary artwork and guidelines for its use is now available. Zoos can also receive guidance on translating the materials into other languages.
The IUCN-SSC recently reported that at least fifteen zoos and aquariums around the world are in the process of incorporating the logo and scale into their enclosure signage. EAZA members doing so include Bristol Zoo Gardens and Zoo Frankfurt.
The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) has also started using the Red List information at both Edinburgh Zoo and the Highland Wildlife Park, presenting the scale and button prominently in the middle of each sign (pictured). In addition to this, other signs have been erected to interpret exactly what the scale and buttons mean.
If you are interested in using the Red List logos at your institution, you can obtain the Zoo Info Pack from Leigh Ann Hurt, Communications and Marketing Officer at IUCN Species Programme, Gland, Switzerland (leighann.hurt[at]iucn.org).
Red List Species of the Day
Regular visitors to the EAZA website may also have noticed the appearance of a new element on the front page of the website. To increase awareness of the enormous variety of life on our planet and to raise the profile of threatened species, the IUCN has initiated the Red List ‘Species of the Day’.
Each day of 2010, the International Year of Biodiversity, will see a different species featured, with information on the threats it faces. The 365 species selected represent the entire range of taxonomic groups and cover all regions.
EAZA members that wish to add the Species of the Day box to their website can find instructions on how to do so here.
Photos of Red List signage supplied by RZSS