10 English summary

This is the second regional red list over threatened animals and plants in Greenland. The first list included 2007 (Boertmann 2008). Since then the list has been amended with all the vascular plants in Greenland – in total 490 species/subspecies. This means than 602 taxa/populations including 38 mammals, 66 birds, three freshwater fish, five butterflies, two quillworts, seven clubmosses, five horsetails, 26 ferns and 450 flowering plants now have been evaluated in a red list context applying IUCN criteria.

The results of the evaluation are presented in two tables (LINK), and among the animals are 13 species/subspecies/separate populations evaluated as Near Threatened (NT), 18 as Vulnerable (VU), four as Endangered (EN), two as Critically Endangered (CR), two as regionally extinct (RE) and one as extinct (EX). Among the vascular plants 31 are Near Threatened (NT), 60 are Vulnerable (VU) and one is Regionally Extinct (RE).

This means that 22% of the evaluated species are red listed.

The only extinct (EX) taxon is the East Greenland caribou, which died out in the late 1800s, probably due to severe winter conditions. EX is usually not applied in regional red lists (IUCN 2012), but as the taxon actually is globally extinct we use it here.

Regionally extinct (RE) taxa include, two birds and a thistle. One of the birds – the fieldfare – disappeared following some severe winters before 1990, and the two other species of unknown reasons.

Critically endangered (CR) species include two species: Harbour seal and northern right whale. The population of northern right whale was reduced by commercial whaling outside Greenland in the 1800s and has not recovered since. Harbour seal was hunted on a non-sustainable level until it became protected in 2010, and so far, there are no signs of recovery, but it may be favoured by the climatic changes. The 2007-list included six critically endangered species/populations. Four of these has been down-listed due to increasing populations: Walrus (North Water population), bowhead whale (Spitsbergen population), white whale and narwhal (West Greenland population).

Endangered (EN) species include four species/populations: Two birds – Greenland white-fronted goose and common guillemot. These were also evaluated as EN in 2007. The two mammals are narwhal (East Greenland population) and sei whale. There is new data on the narwhal population in East Greenland, which indicate population decline and non-sustainable hunt. Sei whale was evaluated as data deficient (DD) in 2007. Now the evaluation follows the global evaluation.

Vulnerable (VU) species/populations include 18 species of animals (ten mammals, seven birds and one freshwater fish) and 60 species vascular plants (one clubmoss, one quillwort, one horsetail, seven ferns and 43 flowering plants).

Near threatened species/populations include thirteen animals (nine birds, four mammals) and 31 vascular plants (one fern and 30 flowering plants).

Since the 2007 red list eleven species/populations have been up-listed (four) or down-listed (seven) (LINK). Those up-listed include the Canadian high arctic light-bellied brent goose (LC to NT), because it have stablished a very small breeding population in northwest Greenland, Atlantic puffin (NT to VU) due to decreasing population, snowy owl (LC to NT) due to expected population decrease and hooded seal (LV to VU) due to decreasing population. The down-listed species/populations include common eider (VU to LC) due to population increase, harlequin duck (NT to LC) due to changed criterion for NT, walrus West Greenland population (EN to VU) due to increased population, walrus North Water population (CR to VU) due to increased population, bowhead whale Spitsbergen population (CR to VU), due to increased population, white whale (CR to VU) due to increased population and narwhal (CR to NT) due to increased population and better data.

Fifteen species/populations were evaluated in 2007 as DD or NA due to erroneously application of the criteria, and these are now changed.


  • Boertmann, D. 2008. Grønlands Rødliste 2007 (With a summary in English). – Grønlands Hjemmestyre og Danmarks Miljøundersøgelser, 152 p. LINK
  • IUCN 2012. Guidelines for Application of the IUCN Red List Criteria at Regional and National Levels. Version 4.0. LINK
Opdateret 23.11.2018