Nature Serve Conservation Status
The NatureServe conservation status system, maintained and presented by NatureServe in cooperation with the Natural Heritage Network, was developed in the United States in the 1980s by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) as a means for ranking or categorizing the relative imperilment of species of plants, animals, or other organisms, as well as natural ecological communities, on the global, national and/or subnational levels. These designations are also referred to as NatureServe ranks, NatureServe statuses, or Natural Heritage ranks. While The Nature Conservancy is no longer substantially involved in the maintenance of these ranks, the name TNC ranks is still sometimes encountered for them.
NatureServe ranks indicate the imperilment of species or ecological communities as natural occurrences, ignoring individuals or populations in captivity or cultivation, and also ignoring non-native occurrences established through human intervention beyond the species' natural range (as, for example, with many invasive species).
NatureServe ranks have been designated primarily for species and ecological communities in the United States and Canada, but the methodology is global, and has been used in some areas of Latin America and the Caribbean. The NatureServe Explorer web site presents a centralized set of global, national, and subnational NatureServe ranks developed by NatureServe or provided by cooperating U.S. Natural Heritage Programs and Canadian and other international Conservation Data Centers.
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