Ranking System

Each species assessed in the Wild Species reports received a rank in each province, territory, or ocean region in which they are known to be present, as well as an overall national rank for Canada. These ranks represent the conservation status of the species, based on the best available knowledge. Starting from the Wild Species 2015 report, the National General Status Working Group is using the ranking system of NatureServe.

 

RankCategoryDescription

 

Geographic scale

N
NationalIndicates a rank at the national level in Canada.
S
SubnationalIndicates a rank at the level of a province, territory, or ocean region in Canada.

 

Conservation status

X
Presumed ExtirpatedSpecies is believed to be extirpated from the jurisdiction (nation, province, territory, or ocean region). Not located despite intensive searches of historical sites and other appropriate habitat, and virtually no likelihood that it will be rediscovered.
H
Possibly ExtirpatedKnown from only historical records but still some hope of rediscovery. There is evidence that the species may no longer be present in the jurisdiction, but not enough to state this with certainty. Examples of such evidence include: (1) that a species has not been documented in approximately 20-40 years despite some searching and/or some evidence of significant habitat loss or degradation; (2) that a species has been searched for unsuccessfully, but not thoroughly enough to presume that it is no longer present in the jurisdiction.
1
Critically ImperiledAt very high risk of extirpation in the jurisdiction due to very restricted range, very few populations or occurrences, very steep declines, severe threats, or other factors.
2
ImperiledAt high risk of extirpation in the jurisdiction due to restricted range, few populations or occurrences, steep declines, severe threats, or other factors.
3
VulnerableAt moderate risk of extirpation in the jurisdiction due to a fairly restricted range, relatively few populations or occurrences, recent and widespread declines, threats, or other factors.
4
Apparently SecureAt a fairly low risk of extirpation in the jurisdiction due to an extensive range and/or many populations or occurrences, but with possible cause for some concern as a result of local recent declines, threats, or other factors.
5
SecureAt very low or no risk of extirpation in the jurisdiction due to a very extensive range, abundant populations or occurrences, with little to no concern from declines or threats.
U
UnrankableCurrently unrankable due to lack of information or due to substantially conflicting information about status or trends.
NR
UnrankedNational or subnational conservation status not yet assessed.
NA
Not ApplicableA conservation status rank is not applicable because the species is not a suitable target for conservation activities. It includes exotic species (that have been moved beyond their natural range as a result of human activity), hybrids, or long distance migrants (accidental species occurring infrequently and unpredictably outside their usual range).

 

Qualifier

?
Inexact Numeric RankDenotes inexact numeric rank. This designation should not be used with any of the X, H, U, NR or NA conservation status ranks.
B
BreedingConservation status refers to the breeding population of the species in the nation, province, territory, or ocean region.
N
NonbreedingConservation status refers to the non-breeding population of the species in the nation, province, territory, or ocean region.
M
MigrantConservation status refers to the migrant population of the species in the nation, province, territory, or ocean region.

 

The geographic scale is written first, followed by the conservation status, followed by the qualifier if necessary. For example, N5B means a national rank of secure that covers only the breeding population of the species. For example, N5? means a national rank of secure that is uncertain. The majority of ranks do not have qualifiers, such as N5 for example.

Range ranks can also be used. For example, N2N3 means that the national rank of the species in Canada is between imperiled and vulnerable. For example, N1N3 means that the national rank of the species in Canada is between critically imperiled and vulnerable. Range ranks are applied only for numerical conservation status and are used to indicate any range of uncertainty about the status of the species. Ranges cannot skip more than two ranks (NU is used rather than N1N4).

For more information on the NatureServe ranking system, please consult the website and documentation of NatureServe. For information about the previous ranking system used by the National General Status Working Group, please consult the Wild Species 2010 report.