Background information

Wild Species 2015: the General Status of Species in Canada

Wild Species 2015, the fourth report in the series, presents the results of general status assessments for a broad cross-section of Canadian fungi, plants and animals. General status assessments are made by integrating the best available information on rarity, threats, and trends to generate an expert evaluation of the status of each species.

For the 2015 report, species ranks were calculated using methods developed by NatureServe, and then integrated into the global NatureServe data network. Each species received a rank in each province, territory or ocean region (where the species is known to occur), as well as a national rank.

These ranks necessarily represent a coarse-scaled assessment of a species’ status in Canada, due to the large number of species assessed, and the variability in the quantity and quality of information available for each species.

Please visit the Wild Species website for more information on the Wild Species series or to obtain copies of the reports (current or previous versions).

General Status of Species / NatureServe categories

  • Presumed Extirpated - Species 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.
  • Possibly Extirpated - Known 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.
  • Critically Imperiled - At 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.
  • Imperiled - At high risk of extirpation in the jurisdiction due to restricted range, few populations or occurrences, steep declines, severe threats, or other factors.
  • Vulnerable - At 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.
  • Apparently Secure - At 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.
  • Secure - At 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.
  • Unrankable - Currently unrankable due to lack of information or due to substantially conflicting information about status or trends.
  • Unranked - National or subnational conservation status not yet assessed.
  • Not Applicable - A 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).