Wikipedia:Conservation status

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These conservation status categories are used in Wikipedia articles.

For threatened species and species believed to have become extinct after 1500, the categories are based on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) Red List 1994 or 2001 categories. Such species should be classified using the IUCN criteria directly using the most up-to-date database; the criteria given here are only a summary.

Category systems[edit]

  • "global?" in descriptions means "Is the species entire (global) range assessed?"

Global[edit]

IUCN Red List Categories & Criteria v3.1 (since 2001)[edit]

Status iucn3.1 blank.svg
status_system
iucn3.1
global? 
Yes (except "stocks and populations")
status
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC DD NE PE PEW
status_ref
{{IUCN}}
Link
[1]
Notes
PE and PEW (Probably Extinct and Probably Extinct in the Wild) are not official IUCN categories, but PE has been adopted by Birdlife International, and the terms appear within the IUCN Red List entries.
EX = Extinct
EW = Extinct in the wild
CR = Critically Endangered
EN = Endangered
VU = Vulnerable
NT = Near Threatened
LC = Least Concern
DD = Data deficient
NE = Not evaluated
PE = Probably extinct (informal)
PEW = Probably extinct in the wild (informal)

IUCN Red List Categories & Criteria v2.3 (1994-2000)[edit]

Status iucn2.3 blank.svg
status_system
iucn2.3
global? 
Yes (except "stocks and populations")
status
EX EW CR EN VU LR/cd LR/nt LR/lc DD NE PE PEW
status_ref
<ref name="iucn">{{IUCN2008}}</ref>
Link
[2]
Notes
LR/cd = Lower Risk (send em back). Other as per IUCN 3.1

CITES[edit]

status_system
CITES
global? 
Yes (except Appendix III)
status
CITES_A1 CITES_A2
status_ref
Link
CITES appendices valid from September 13, 2007
Notes
Only Appendix I and II ("CITES_A1", "CITES_A2") are valid for Wikipedia.

Appendix I contains highly threatened species; most of these are assessed by IUCN or TNC too however.
Appendix II includes lesser-threatened and look-alike species; this status may be used for the former if no formal status evaluation by IUCN etc exists.
Appendix III does not include globally threatened species; "CITES_A3" is not to be used anymore.


TNC G-ranks and T-ranks[edit]

Status TNC blank.svg
Status TNC T blank.svg
status_system
TNC
global? 
Yes (except N and S-ranks)[verification needed]
status
GX GH G1 G2 G3 G3 G4 G5 GU GNR TX TH T1 T2 T3 T3 T4 T5 TU
status_ref
Link
[3]
Notes
Does not cover range ranks, uncertain ranks, C qualifier. This is a technical (non-deliberate) limitation.

Wikipedia specific[edit]

status_system
none
global? 
Yes
status
DOM Pre Fossil
Link
Explanatory notes
Notes
Domesticated, Prehistoric, and Fossil. Domesticated animals should still use IUCN categories when available for wild populations. No category assigned for "cultivated" (domesticated plants). Note that "domesticated" is a dubious category, not assigned by conservation groups.

Country-specific[edit]

These should only be used if they a) apply to the global population and b) if no global system has assessed the species yet.

Australia: EPBC (national)[edit]

Status EPBC blank.svg
status_system
EPBC
global? 
 ?
status
EX EW CR EN VU CD DL
status_ref
Link
Act 1999 & Regulations 2000
Page linking to EPBCA species lists
Notes
Category abbreviations are not official. DL (Delisted) should only be used on Wikipedia if a species is delisted because it is no longer threatened.

Australia: DEC (Western Australia)[edit]

Status DECF blank.svg

DEC's Declared Rare and Priority Flora List categories. (Western Australia)

status_system
DECF
global? 
 ?
status
X R P1 P2 P3 P4 P5 DL
status_ref
Link
Notes
DL is for Delisted

Canada: COSEWIC[edit]

Status COSEWIC blank.svg
status_system
COSEWIC
global? 
No (Canada only)
status
X XT E T SC NAR
status_ref
Link
Notes
Should only be used for endemic species, as it does not assess global range.

USA: ESA[edit]

Status ESA blank.svg
status_system
ESA
global? 
Yes
status
EX LE LT DL
status_ref
Link
[4] (ESA legal code)
[5] (USFWS ESP species search)
Notes
EX = extinct (ESA status D3A - "delisted, apparently extinct")
LE = Listed Endangered.
LT = Listed Threatened
DL = Delisted – should only be used on Wikipedia if a species is delisted because it is no longer threatened (ESA status D3C, DM, and possibly DO and DP)

New Zealand: NZTCS[edit]

Status NZTCS blank.svg
status_system
NZTCS
global? 
No (New Zealand only)
status
EX NC NE NV SD GD SP RR
status_ref
Link
New Zealand Threat Classification System, New Zealand Department of Conservation
Notes
Should only be used for endemic species, as it does not assess global range.
EX = Extinct
NC = Nationally Critical
NE = Nationally Endangered
NV = Nationally Vulnerable
SD = Serious Decline
GD = Gradual Decline
SP = Sparse
RR = Range Restricted

Detailed IUCN categories[edit]

  • Lower Risk (LR) was a catch-all category which includes common species as well as those for which there may be conservation concern, but which do not warrant a higher category. This category was removed in the IUCN 3.x criteria, promoting its subcategories to full categories.
    • LR/cd (Conservation Dependent, now part of NT), stable and sizable populations depend on sustained conservation activity. (this category was absorbed by NT in 3.x)
    • NT (Near Threatened, formerly LR/nt), close to qualifying for listing as Vulnerable but not fully meeting those criteria; slowly declining or fairly small populations but probably no danger of going extinct even without conservation activity in the foreseeable future, or threats suspected to affect taxon in the near future but still avoidable.
    • LC (Least Concern, formally LR/lc), species that have been evaluated and found to be so common that no conservation concern is projected in the foreseeable future.
Examples: LR/cd: Coast Redwood; LR/nt: Bigcone Douglas-fir; LR/lc: Leopard (the species as a whole), Orca, House Sparrow.
  • Vulnerable (VU): faces a considerable risk of extinction in the medium term.
Examples: Ring-tailed Lemur, Great White Shark, Royal Poinciana.
  • Endangered (EN): faces a high risk of extinction in the near future.
Examples: Blue Whale, Desert Bighorn Sheep, Giant Panda, Black-footed ferret (still "EW" on the IUCN Red List because last reviewed in 1996; currently EN according to ESA or G1 according to the more precise TNC G-ranks).
  • Critically Endangered (CR): faces an extremely high risk of extinction in the immediate future.
Examples: Slender-billed Curlew, Spanish Lynx, Red Wolf.
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW): captive individuals survive, and/or the species has been reintroduced outside its former natural range, but the species otherwise matches the criteria for "Extinct", such that no free-living, natural population is believed to exist. "Extirpated" is a term used for localized extinctions of extant species; it always refers to a specific area where the species no longer exists.
Examples: Hawaiian Crow, Scimitar Oryx.
  • Extinct (EX): extensive and appropriate surveys have failed to record any living members. The last remaining member is known or strongly suspected to have died later than 1500.
Examples: Thylacine, Dodo, Huia.
  • Data Deficient (DD): a taxon is listed as Data deficient when there is inadequate information to make an assessment of its risk category, either through lack of knowledge of population size, threats to it, or to taxonomic uncertainty of the validity of the taxon, but where indications of a major threat or decline do not exist either.
Examples: Scottish Crossbill (taxonomic uncertainty with respect to Parrot Crossbill), Yunnan Cypress (lack of knowledge of wild population size but widespread as ornamental tree). Both taxa would likely be classified as NT or VU if sufficient data were available.

  • Not evaluated (NE): taxa whose conservation status has not been assessed to date. Many species have not been evaluated. This may be due to them being too recently described to be included in the latest IUCN red book. Any extant taxa that cannot be found with the IUCN Red List can be considered NE within IUCN, and the status field should be left blank, unless they are found within another system (e.g. TNC, EPBC, ESA, UNEP-WCMC).
Examples: Common species of insects often fall into this category.

Special Wikipedia categories[edit]

The following additional categories cover species that fall outside the scope of the IUCN Red List. The IUCN criteria are authoritative and should be used directly if applicable.

  • Domesticated: no immediate threat to the survival of the species. This category overlaps Least Concern but has been applied to humans and domesticated animals, for which the IUCN criteria are not valid. Examples: Cat, Dog, Llama. However many species will use the IUCN category for the wild population. E.g. Golden Hamster.
  • Critical (Possibly Extinct) CR (PE), a semi-official category introduced by BirdLife International and likely to be adopted by other authorities including the IUCN in the near future. The weight of evidence points against the continuing existence of the taxon, but final surveys are still pending. Examples: Eskimo Curlew, Turquoise-throated Puffleg.
  • Prehistoric: somewhere between Extinct and Fossil: the species went extinct before 1500. A major part of the species' remains exist in a subfossil state. This is of particular use in human evolution, as molecular analysis of the specimens can be compared against that of other modern and prehistoric specimens. Examples: Mammuthus exilis, Cave lion, the Neanderthal human, most moa and Hawaiian honeycreeper extinctions. Generally speaking, this encompasses pre-Western contact Late Quaternary extinctions. In other words, it has evolved.

It should be noted that scientific literature does not usually distinguish between fossil and subfossil specimens. Generally, if molecular analysis or radiocarbon dating can be routinely carried out on specimens of a taxon, the taxon is classified as "Prehistoric". The recent discoveries of what seems to be minute amounts of preserved soft tissue in some dinosaur specimens, on the other hand, would not alter their "Fossil" status. As a rule of thumb, taxa extinct in the recent 50-30.000 years would possibly qualify as "Prehistoric".

Examples and categories[edit]

Please do not use a conservation status that has not been officially given by an authoritative source. Your own judgement may be considered original research, which is against Wikipedia policy to include.

External links[edit]