Red, Blue & Yellow Lists

Based on their conservation status rank, each species and ecosystem is assigned to the red, blue or yellow list to help set conservation priorities and provide a simplified view of the status of B.C.'s species and ecosystems.

These lists also help to identify species and ecosystems that can be considered for designation as "Endangered" or "Threatened."

There are a number of factors used in assessing the conservation status of ecological communities or species. The CDC assigns each one to the red, blue or yellow list based on their conservation status rank – a code that identifies the level of concern about their risk.

Species that are exotic (non-native) or accidental are not assigned a status rank and are not placed on the lists.

Any species or ecosystem that is at risk of being lost (extirpated, endangered or threatened)

Element Types Status Ranks
Animals and Plants SX, SH, S1, S1S2, S2, S2?, S1S3
Ecological communities  SX, SH, S1, S1S2, S2

Any species or ecosystem that is of special concern

Element Types Status Ranks
Animals S2S3, S2S4, S3, S3? S3S4, S3S5
Ecological communities and Plants  S2S3, S2S4, S3, S3?

Any species or ecosystem that is apparently secure or secure (least risk of being lost)

Element Types Status Ranks
Animals S4, S4?, S4S5, S5
Ecological communities and Plants  S3S4, S3S5, S4, S4S5, S5
 

Species that have been moved beyond their natural range as a result of human activity. Exotic species are also known as alien species, foreign species, introduced species, non-indigenous species and non-native species. Exotic species are excluded from the Red, Blue and Yellow Lists as a Provincial Conservation Status Rank is not applicable (i.e. SNA).

Species occurring infrequently and unpredictably, outside their usual range. Accidental species are excluded from the Red, Blue and Yellow Lists as a Provincial Conservation Status Rank is not applicable (i.e., SNA).

 

Includes species or ecological communities for which the Provincial Conservation Status is unknown due to extreme uncertainty (e.g., S1S4). It will also be 'Unknown' if it is uncertain whether the entity is native (Red, Blue or Yellow), introduced (Exotic) or accidental in B.C. This designation highlights species and ecological communities where more inventory and/or data gathering is needed.

  • “No Status” is assigned to the animal species record when all related infraspecies (e.g., subspecies, population, ecotype, etc.) in BC have been assigned to the Red, Blue, or Yellow List.
    •  Example: There are two populations of Northern Painted Turtle in B.C.; one is on the BC Red List, the other is on the BC Blue List. The species record for Northern Painted Turtle is therefore assigned “No Status”
  • “No Status” is assigned to plant hybrids (i.e. hybrids without conservation value) where the Provincial Conservation Status Rank is SNA.
  •  Species and ecological communities that have not undergone a conservation status assessment (i.e., Provincial Conservation Status Rank is SNR).
  •  Species that have Provincial Conservation Status Ranks assigned from National General Status Program, but have not been reviewed or verified by the BC CDC.

 

Find out about how the red and blue lists were developed:

  • Harper, B., S. Cannings, D. Fraser and W.T. Munro. 1994. Provincial lists of species at risk. Pp. 16-23 in Biodiversity in British Columbia. L.E. Harding and E. McCullum (eds.), Canadian Wildlife Service, Delta, B.C. Available online here.