A near-threatened species is a species which has been categorized as "Near Threatened" (NT) by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as that may be vulnerable to endangerment in the near future, but it does not currently qualify for the threatened status.
Comparison of Red list classes above
and NatureServe status below
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 before this conservation-dependent species were given a separate category ("Conservation Dependent").
Additionally, the 402 conservation-dependent taxa may also be considered near-threatened.
Before 2001, the IUCN used the version 2.3 Categories and Criteria to assign conservation status, which included a separate category for conservation-dependent species ("Conservation Dependent", LR/cd). With this category system, Near Threatened and Conservation Dependent were both subcategories of the category "Lower Risk". Taxa which were last evaluated before 2001 may retain their LR/cd or LR/nt status, although had the category been assigned with the same information today the species would be designated simply "Near Threatened (NT)" in either case.