Conservation Status Symbols

Conservation Status Symbols

AZGFD and the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) define the conservation status symbols that I used. For extended definitions, visit and navigate to “CONSERVATION” (top menu bar), then to: “Arizona’s Natural Heritage Program (HDMS)” (sidebar), and then to “Species Data Lists.”

Symbols used by AZGFD

• S1 Critically Imperiled: Extremely rare or some factor(s) is making the species especially vulnerable to extinction. Typically 5 or fewer locations or very few remaining individuals (<1,000).
• S2 Imperiled: Rare or some factor(s) is making the species very vulnerable to extirpation. Typically 6 to 20 occurrences or few remaining individuals (1,000 to 3,000).
• S3 Vulnerable: Rare or found only in a restricted range (even if abundant at some locations), or because of other factors making it vulnerable to extirpation. Typically 21 to 100 occurrences or between 3,000 and 10,000 individuals.
• S4 Apparently Secure: Uncommon but not rare, and usually widespread. Usually more than 100 occurrences* and more than 10,000 individuals. Possible long-term concern.
• S5 Secure: Common, widespread, and abundant. Safe under present conditions. Typically with considerably more than 100 locations and more than 10,000 individuals.
• SA Accidental: Not native.
• SE Exotic Origin: Not native.
• SER State Exotic Reported: Not native.
• SHQ State Historical Report: Taxonomy in question.
• SH Possibly Extirpated (Historical): Historically present, and there is some expectation that the species may be rediscovered.
• SP State Potential. Surveys needed to confirm presence.
• SR State Reported. Surveys need to confirm presence.
• SRF State Reported Falsely. Not present in state.
• SRFSC State Reported Falsely, State Captive: Present only in captivity or cultivation.
• SRX State Reported Extripated or Extinct.
• SX Presumed Extinct: Not located despite intensive searches, and virtually no likelihood that it will be rediscovered.
• SXS#Q State Extripated or Extinct: State Rank of # due to re-introduction; taxonomy in question.
• SNR Unranked: Status not yet assessed.
• SU Unrankable: Lack of information about status or trends.
• S#S# Indicates the range of uncertainty about exact status (e.g., S3S4).
• SNA Conservation status is not applicable because the species is not a suitable target of conservation activities for one of the following reasons:
• Hybrid: Species represents an interspecific hybrid without conservation value. (Note that hybrids may be ranked if they do have conservation value).
• E Exotic Origin: Species is not native to AZ.
• AN Accidental/Nonregular: Species is not regularly found in AZ.
• N Not Confidently Present: Presence has been reported but the report is unconfirmed.
• No Definable Occurrences: Species is native and appears regularly but lacks practical conservation concern in AZ because it is transient or occurs in a dispersed, unpredictable manner.
• Synonym: Species reported in AZ, but the state data center does not recognize the taxon; therefore, AZGFD does not assign the species a status.
• Q Questionable Taxonomy that may reduce conservation priority: Distinctiveness of this entity as a taxon is questionable; resolution of this uncertainty may result in change from a species to a subspecies or hybrid, or inclusion of this taxon in another taxon, with the resulting Element having a lower-priority (numerically higher) conservation status rank.
Breeding Status Qualifiers
• B Breeding: Basic rank refers to the breeding population of the Element in the state. May be used in conjunction with an ‘N’ qualifier, to denote when taxon has both breeding and non-breeding populations in the subnation.
• N Nonbreeding: Non-breeding population in the state.
• M Migrant: Basic rank refers to the transient/migratory population of the Element in the subnation.
Note: A breeding status subrank is only used for animal species that have distinct breeding and/or non-breeding and/or migrant populations in the subnation. A rank for any of the population segments may be assigned alone or may be coupled with one or both of the other segment ranks. In the latter case, the ranks are separated by a comma, with the higher priority rank listed first (e.g., S2B,S3N,S5M; S1B,S3N; SHN,S4S5B).
Other Qualifier
? Inexact or Uncertain: Qualifies the character immediately preceding.

Symbols Used for the ESA by FWS

• LE Listed Endangered: Imminent jeopardy of extinction.
• LT Listed Threatened: Imminent jeopardy of becoming Endangered.
• PS Partial Status: Listed Endangered or Threatened in part of range.
• XN Experimental Nonessential population.
• PDL Proposed for delisting.
• PD Proposed for Delisting
• No (No Status) Certain populations of this taxon do not have designated status (check with state or regional USFWS office for details about which populations have designated status).
• SAT Listed Threatened due to Similarity of Appearance. This happens when a member of a non-listed population occurs within the geographic area of a Distinct Population Segment for a listed species (e.g., a wintering bald eagle within the DPS for listed bald eagles).
• PE Proposed Endangered
• PT Proposed Threatened
• C Candidate: Species for which the USFWS has on file sufficient information on biological vulnerability and threats to support proposals to list as Endangered or Threatened under ESA. Proposed rules for these species are precluded at present by other higher priority listing actions.
• C* Species for which FWS made a continued warranted-but-precluded finding on a resubmitted petition.
• SC Species of Concern: Describes the entire realm of taxa whose conservation status may be of concern to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, but does not have official federal status.


2 thoughts on “Conservation Status Symbols

  1. Pingback: Arizona Butterfly and Moth Update–November, 2013 | GarryRogers Nature Conservation

  2. Pingback: Arizona Snake Update–November, 2013 | GarryRogers Nature Conservation


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