The Norwegian Red List for Species is the list of species at risk of going extinct in Norway. It is prepared by the Norwegian Biodiversity Information Centre in accordance with criteria from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Mycena cyanorhiza (DD) is a small bonnet mushroom with a striking sky-blue base to the stem. It grows on conifer bark and twigs.

Species are generally included on the Red List because they are rare, or because the number of individuals is in strong decline. Habitat fragmentation and loss also contribute to increasing a species’ risk of extinction.

Red List categories

The Norwegian Red List is revised in 6-year intervals, and the most recent edition was published in November 2021. The assessments are made by a total of 94 experts commissioned by the NBIC.

Species on the Red List are assigned to one of six categories, ranked by their risk of extinction. The categories are:

  •     Regionally Extinct (RE)
  •     Critically Endangered (CR)
  •     Endangered (EN)
  •     Vulnerable (VU)
  •     Near Threatened (NT)
  •     Data Deficient (DD)

What is the difference between red-listed and threatened species?

All species on the Red List are called red-listed species. Species that are classified as Critically Endangered (CR), Endangered (EN) or Vulnerable (VU) are referred to as threatened species. These species have a high to extremely high risk of extinction in Norway.

Species that are at risk of extinction, but for which there is considerable uncertainty about the degree of risk, are classified as Data Deficient (DD).

Species that have viable populations are not considered to be red-listed species, but are categorised as Least Concern (LC).

By the numbers

The 2021 Norwegian Red List for Species contains 4957 species, of which 2752 are classified as threatened. This constitutes 21 % and 12 %, respectively, of the 23 405 species that were assessed for the Red List. Of the threatened species, 289 are categorized as Critically Endangered (CR), 959 are Endangered (EN), and 1504 are Vulnerable (VU).

The Atlantic puffin Fratercula arctica is now considered Endangered (EN) due to a 50-80 % decline in the Norwegian population over the species' past three generations.