Threats and Actions Classifications

A key foundation of any science is a common nomenclature that practitioners can use to describe—in a mutually intelligible way—the problems they are facing and the solutions they are using. For example, if a conservation project team faces the threat of “cattle” and another “grazing” and yet another “beef production,” they may not realize that they are all dealing with the same issue. As a result, cross-project learning is difficult, and the ability to meaningfully roll-up information across projects is greatly hampered.

The taxonomies presented here began with a collaborative effort between the World Conservation Union (IUCN) and CMP to create standard classifications of direct threats and of the conservation actions conservation actors can take to counter them. CMP updated the classifications in June 2016 to incorporate lessons learned and experiences from conservation teams applying Version 1.0 across hundreds of projects around the globe.

Folks using the IUCN classification system (Version 1) will probably continue to so, to keep continuity.

Threats Classification (Version 2.0Version 1.0)










Actions Classification (Version 2.0, Version 1.0)

The classifications are intended to:

  • Help conservation teams describe what is happening at their site. A team can scan these classifications and see if they recognize any threats that they may be overlooking in their analysis of the conditions at their site or get ideas for actions that they might take.
  • Facilitate cross-project learning and the development of a science of conservation. A common classification of conservation direct threats enables practitioners to search a database of conservation projects and find projects facing similar threats or using similar actions and (hopefully) to learn from their experiences.
  • Create general summaries or “roll-ups” for broader organizational purposes and/or use by senior managers, fundraisers, and external affairs staff. Summaries can tally the frequency of threats or actions across projects at various organizational scales or be combined with other information for more detailed summaries.

Citation: Conservation Measures Partnership. 2016. Classification of Conservation Actions and Threats. Version 2.0.

Related Resources:

Conservation Biology 2008 article: A Standard Lexicon for Biodiversity Conservation: Unified Classifications of Threats and Actions


8 Responses to “Threats and Actions Classifications”

  1. Philippe Lamarre


    In order to assess more precise threats and identify precise conservation actions, our analysis team at the MFFP (Québec, Canada) has used the level 2 threat list (Version 2.0) to develop a level 3 threat classification. Our level 3 classification is still growing as we analyse different species and we are concerned about the arrival of a possible Version 3.0 of the CMP’s list that would include level 3 threats. Is such a classification being developped on your side? If not, why? If so, could we contribute with our own list?

    Thank you for your time and have a great day,

    Philippe Lamarre, M. Sc., Biologist, MFFP

    • dsprod

      Thank you Philippe. I will check how this space is being treated. Your classification may be of great use and I will come back to you soon. regards – Daniel (web content manager)

  2. Louise Gratton

    I have just downloaded the latest version of Miradi. The Conservation Actions are still the ones from the 2006 version 1.0. Please recommnad that these be upgraded as soon as possible. Thank you.

    • cstem

      Hi Louise – thanks for this comment. I believe the Miradi team is aware of this discrepancy, but best thing is to contact – that email is actively managed.

  3. Agatha

    Hi, I am wondering if the Action Classification are available in French? Thank you.

    • dsprod

      HI Agatha
      I am not aware of the classification being available in French. The titles of the actions may be available in the French Miradi ‘help and guidance’ feature.

  4. Joy

    Hi there,
    I am wondering if this version needs to be updated to the one posted on the IUCN Red List website: ?

    It states that it is the Threat Classification Version 3.2; however, the pdf to download has a date of Dec 2012, so maybe the one posted here is more up to date?

    Any clarification is much appreciated 🙂

    • dsprod

      Hi Joy
      The IUCN classification to which you refer is older than the v2.0 presented on this website.
      Please have a look at the History explanation in v2.0 for details, but it is generally considered than continued use of v1.0 is suitable where it is fitting in with existing approaches, to retain continuity.
      regards Daniel Sprod (web content manager)


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