There is no definitive answer, but according to the IUCN Red List, 1996 saw a large increase in the evaluation of potentially endangered species. As a result, after 5,205 species were examined, 25% of all mammals and 11% of all birds were officially listed as threatened. This action would conceivably be the year with the most additions to the list.
According to the IUCN Red List summary of the number of endangered species from 1996 to 2011, in 2004 the IUCN added 1,377 animal and plant endangered species to the list of 2,862 from the previous year. This makes 2004 the year that saw the most species identified as endangered between 1996 to the present. The year which saw the least amount of endangered species was 2002 with only 31 new species added to the list. Below is the IUCN Red List Summary Statistic of the number of endangered species since 1996/1998.
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