Navigation Bar (see also links at bottom of page) Home Page Contacts News SiteIndex Training Support Prices Research Software


RAMAS Red List 3.0
Threatened Species Classification Under Uncertainty

RAMAS Red List

RAMAS Red List version 3.0 implements IUCN threatened species criteria (IUCN 2001), which are rules for assigning species into categories representing different level of threat. The IUCN rules are based on information about such characteristics as number and distribution of individuals, fluctuations and decline in abundance and distribution, and risk of extinction. These characteristics are used as input data; the output is a classification into one of the categories, such as Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable, Near Threatened, or Least Concern.

RAMAS Red List implements the rules as used by the IUCN, and also allows explicitly incorporating uncertainties in the input data.  Input data such as the number of mature individuals can be specified either as a number, or as a range of numbers, or a range of numbers plus a best estimate. RAMAS Red List propagates these uncertainties. Depending on the uncertainties, the resulting classification can be a single category, or a range of plausible categories.


Changes in RAMAS Red List Version 3.0

  1. More flexibility in interpreting blank values: In earlier versions, parameters left blank were assumed to be "unknown", except for risk parameters, which were "ignored". In this version, there are two additional options: ignoring all blank values and assuming that all blank values are unknown. Note that this change will not affect results if data fields were not left blank (which was and is strongly recommended for all versions).
  2. More user control over the threat status: This version allows manually entering the Red List Category and Criteria for the taxon, which can also be calculated by the program after entering all the data. It also allows a "Possibly extinct" tag.
  3. Documenting previous assessments: This version allows the user to enter a list of previous assessments (together with the old category, criteria, and the reason for change).
  4. Detailed taxonomic information: This version allows detailed specification of the taxonomy by selecting or typing names of taxonomic categories such as Phylum, Class, Family, etc.
  5. Detailed ecological information based on Classification Schemes: This version allows selecting countries, habitats, threats, stresses, conservation actions, and research priorities from pre-specified lists, based on the IUCN Red List Classification Schemes


RAMAS Red List is used by the Species Survival Commission of IUCN - The World Conservation Union.


RAMAS Red List Version 3.0 works under Windows versions 95, 98, NT 4.0, 2000, XP, 7 and 8.

For more information, see:


IUCN Red List Categories

The threatened species categories developed by the IUCN  - The World Conservation Union are used in Red Data Books and Red Lists. These categories are widely recognized internationally, and they are now used in a whole range of publications and listings, produced by IUCN as well as by numerous governmental and non-governmental organizations. The Red Data Book categories provide an easily and widely understood method for highlighting those species under higher extinction risk, so as to focus attention on conservation measures designed to protect them.

The categories are:

Extinct in the Wild
Critically Endangered
Near Threatened
Least Concern
Data Deficient

In 2001, the IUCN Council approved revisions to the categories, their definitions, and criteria for assigning taxa to categories. For more information on the IUCN categories and criteria, see:

RAMAS Red List implements these criteria and allows explicitly incorporating uncertainties in the input data.  The method used in RAMAS Red List for incorporating and propagating uncertainties is described in:

Akçakaya, H. R., S. Ferson, M. A. Burgman, D. A. Keith, G. M. Mace and C. R. Todd. 2000. Making consistent IUCN classifications under uncertainty.  Conservation Biology 14: 1001-1013.

Using RAMAS Red List

Entering data into RAMAS Red List

        In RAMAS Red List, the data on each taxon are entered in a series of windows:

        For example, under the "Population" tab, there are 4 input parameters:

        In RAMAS Red List, uncertainty in input data is represented by fuzzy numbers.  A fuzzy number represents an uncertain number, i.e., a number whose value is not precisely known even though it may in fact be fixed and unchanging.

        One of the simplest ways to represent uncertainty is to specify a best estimate and a range of plausible values. For example, you can represent the number of mature individuals with a best estimate of 2000 and bounds of 800 and 3000. These may be based on confidence intervals, the opinion of a single expert, or the consensus opinion of a group of experts. The resulting information can be represented as the triangular fuzzy number[800,2000,3000], which can be entered in RAMAS Red List either numerically or graphically:


Viewing and interpreting the results

        If the input data are uncertain, the restulting classification of the species to threatened species categories may also be uncertain.  Depending on the uncertainties, the resulting classification can be a single category, or a range of plausible categories. The results of the calculations are summarized in the following 5 windows:

Status is the summary of results; it gives the classification of the taxon into one or more threat categories.  It also gives the listing criteria (the criteria and subcriteria that contributed to the classification).

Contribution gives the contribution of the 5 IUCN criteria (A to E) to the threat status of the taxon. It shows what the Status (see above) would have been if each one of the 5 criteria were removed (see "Minus A", ..., "Minus E" below), and if each criterion was the only one used ("Only A", ..., "Only E").


Text results gives a detailed textual summary of all calculations that allows you to follow the calculations of the program step-by-step. List window allows you to compare the Status result of several taxa:


Reporting and exporting the results

        You can export the results as well as all the data to a CSV (comma separated values) file.  This can be done from the List window.  The file will contain one line (row) for each taxon in the list.  Each line will include the results and data for one taxon in fields that are separated with commas.  You can use a database or spreadsheet program (such as Excel) to open the CSV file.

        You can print a report of the taxon, including the results as well as all the data.  All the information you have entered will be printed, arranged into sections such as “Results”, “Information”, and “Data”.  You can also save this report to:
    a text file (TXT)
    a rich-text format file (RTF), or
    a hyper-text file (HTML).

        You can open the RTF file in any word-processor, and use the HTML file to publish the results on the internet.


Contribute your data files

        If you contribute a complete data file (with references and notes for all parameters) in RAMAS Red List format, to be distributed with the next version of the program, you will receive a $100 discount for the next version.  Please include your name and institution in "Assessors" (under the "Contact" tab; you can also include your e-mail, phone and/or fax), and send files to


RAMAS Red List Technical Support

  Top of Page
Software · Prices · Training · What's New · Forum
  Research · Support · Index · Contact Us · Home
©2000-2014 by Applied Biomathematics
Date modified: 10-2014