IUCN Red Data Book of Endangered Species
I remember growing up and reading the names of all the disappearing animals in the world in elementary school. It was a big red hardcovered book. I wondered if all those species twenty later were dead now and if there was a new 'red book'.
I know where all the species are kept now duely noted as they wink out. A new book of the dead and almost dead. It's also now a well mantained website database kept at www.redlist.org
For reference here are the original IUCN threat categories.
It was later revised and updated for the IUCN red list in 1994 with modified catagories with better criteria to determine the placement of the different taxa
These catagories only apply to taxa in the wild
Taxa not definitely located in the wild during the past 50 years (criterion as used by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).
Extinct/ Endangered (Ex/E)
Taxa that are suspected of having recently become extinct.
Taxa in danger of extinction and whose survival is unlikely if the causal factors continue operating. Included are taxa whose numbers have been reduced to a critical level or whose habitats have been so drastically reduced that they are deemed to be in immediate danger of extinction. Also included are taxa that may be extinct but have definitely been seen in the wild in the past 50 years.
Taxa believed likely to move into the 'Endangered' category in the near future if the causal factors continue operating. Included are taxa of which most or all the populations are decreasing because of over-exploitation, extensive destruction of habitat or other environmental disturbance; taxa with populations that have been seriously depleted and whose ultimate security has not yet been assured; and taxa with populations that are still abundant but are under threat from severe adverse factors throughout their range.
Taxa with small world populations that are not at present 'Endangered' or 'Vulnerable', but are at risk. These taxa are usually localized within restricted geographical areas or habitats or are thinly scattered over a more extensive range
Taxa that are known to be 'Endangered', 'Vulnerable' or 'Rare' but where there is not enough information to say which of the three categories is appropriate.
Even of they are no longer the offical terms they are still the terms most people use in conversation without resorting to more specialised conservation jargon.