AskDefine | Define threatened

Dictionary Definition

threatened adj : (of flora or fauna) likely in the near future to become endangered; "the spotted owl is a threatened species, not yet an endangered one"

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. past of threaten


  1. ecology of a plant or animal at risk of becoming endangered in the near future


  • Dutch: bedreigd
  • German: bedroht
  • Spanish: amenazado

Extensive Definition

Threatened species are any species (including animals, plants, fungi, etc.) which are vulnerable to extinction in the near future. World Conservation Union (IUCN) is the foremost authority on threatened species, and treats threatened species not as a single category, but as a group of three categories: vulnerable, endangered, and critically endangered, depending on the degree to which they are threatened.
Species which are threatened are sometimes characterised by the population dynamics measure of critical depensation, a mathematical measure of biomass related to population growth rate. This quantitative metric is one method of evaluating the degree of endangerment.
Less-than-threatened categories are Near Threatened, Least Concern, and the no longer assigned category of Conservation Dependent. Species which have not been evaluated (NE), or do not have sufficient data (Data Deficient) also are not considered "threatened" by the IUCN.
Although threatened and vulnerable may be used interchangeably when discussing IUCN categories, the term threatened is generally used to refer to the three categories (critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable), while vulnerable is used to refer to the least at risk of those three categories. They may be used interchangeably in most contexts however, as all vulnerable species are threatened species (vulnerable is a category of threatened species); and, as the more at-risk categories of threatened species (namely endangered and critically endangered) must, by definition, also qualify as vulnerable species, all threatened species may also be considered vulnerable.
Threatened species are also referred to as a red-listed species, as they are listed in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Subspecies, populations and stocks may also be classified as threatened.

United States

Under the Endangered Species Act in the United States, "threatened" is the less protected the two protected categories. The Bay checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha bayensis) is an example of a threatened subspecies protected under the ESA.

Further Information

External links

threatened in Spanish: Especies amenazadas
threatened in Esperanto: Minacataj specioj
threatened in Slovenian: Ogrožena vrsta
threatened in Turkish: Nesli tehlikedeki türler

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

augured, between two fires, cornered, endangered, foreshadowed, foreshown, foretokened, imperiled, in a predicament, in danger, in desperate case, in extremis, in jeopardy, indicated, jeopardized, on the spot, predicted, prefigured, preindicated, presaged, presignified, pretypified, prognosticated, promised, signified
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