Near Threatened (NT) is a conservation status assigned to species or lower taxa that may be considered threatened with extinction in the near future, although it does not currently qualify for the threatened status. The IUCN notes the importance of re-evaluating Near Threatened taxa at appropriate intervals.
The rationale used for Near Threatened taxa usually includes the criteria of Vulnerable which are plausible or nearly met, such as reduction in numbers or range. Near Threatened species evaluated from 2001 onwards may also be ones which are dependent on conservation efforts to prevent their becoming threatened, whereas prior to this Conservation Dependent species were given a separate category.
Additionally the 402 Conservation Dependent taxa may also be considered Near Threatened.
The conservation status of a group of organisms (for instance, a species) indicates whether the group is extant (members of it are still alive) and how likely the group is to become extinct in the near future. Many factors are taken into account when assessing conservation status: not simply the number of individuals remaining, but the overall increase or decrease in the population over time, breeding success rates, known threats.
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is the best-known worldwide conservation status listing and ranking system. Species are classified by the IUCN Red List into nine groups set through criteria such as rate of decline, population size, area of geographic distribution, and degree of population and distribution fragmentation. Also included are species that have gone extinct since 500 AD. When discussing the IUCN Red List, the official term "threatened" is a grouping of three categories: Critically Endangered, Endangered, and Vulnerable.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. Many countries require CITES permits when importing plants and animals listed on CITES.