The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a worldwide organization founded in 1948, maintains and publishes the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, an inventory of the conservation status of thousands of biological species on this planet, including wild cats. Categories of classification include extinct, extinct in the wild, critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable, lower risk, data deficient and not evaluated.
Wild Cats – What Does Endangered Mean
A wild cat is considered “critically endangered” when it is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the immediate future, and there has been a reduction of at least 80% of the population over the past 10 years. This is determined by several factors, including direct observation, the total number of wild cats considered appropriate for the species, a decline in the number of wild cats living in a particular area. When a wild cat has been labeled “critically endangered,” it has been determined that the species or subspecies has less than 50 mature cats in existence.
A wild cat species is considered “endangered” when it is at a high risk of extinction in the near future, and there has been a 50% reduction in the population of the species over the past 10 years. A wild cat is listed as endangered by the IUCN based on several criteria, including direction observation, how many wild cats are considered appropriate for the species and a reduction in the number of wild cats living in an area. When a wild cat is labeled “endangered,” that species or subspecies has less than 2500 mature individuals in existence.
Read more about endangered wild cats.