Contact

* External Sites


Ministry of Environment

   FAQs: Red, Blue and Yellow Lists

 

What are Red and Blue and Yellow lists?

In B.C., species and ecological communities are assigned to one of three lists, based on their provincial Conservation Status Rank. Red-listed species and ecological communities are Extirpated, Endangered, or Threatened in British Columbia. Blue-listed species and ecological communities are of Special Concern (formerly Vulnerable) and Yellow-listed species and ecological communities are secure. To see how Conservation Status Ranks relate to list colour, see the Provincial Red and Blue Lists page.

How do species or ecological communities get on the Red or Blue list?

A species or ecological community is placed on the Red or Blue list based on its provincial Conservation Status Rank, which is assigned by the B.C. Conservation Data Centre. To see how Conservation Status Ranks relate to the red and blue lists, see the Provincial Red and Blue Lists page.

The following factors are considered in assigning the Provincial Conservation Status Rank:

  • total number and condition of occurrences
  • population size (species only)
  • range extent and area of occupancy
  • short- and long-term trends in the foregoing factors
  • threats
  • intrinsic vulnerability
  • environmental specificity

For a complete treatment of this topic for plants and animals, read NatureServe Conservation Status. For ecological communities read Ecological Communities in British Columbia: Conservation Status Assessment Factors (pdf 258 KB).

Where can I get more information on Red- and Blue-listed species and ecological communities?

Use the BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer to search for the species or ecological community you are interested in. Then click on 'View' under the 'Reports' column. This will create a web-linked bibliography. Your local library or a search of the world-wide web may lead you to more information. In some cases there may not be very much known about the species or ecological community or at least not very much known about it in B.C.

Why are there periodic changes in the Red and Blue lists?

Species and ecological communities are added or removed from the lists as a result of increased knowledge about the species/ecological community or because of an actual change in the species'/ecological community's circumstances. For example, the Boreal Snaketail Dragonfly, Ophiogomphus colubrinus, was only known from two locations in the province before an extensive dragonfly survey was conducted in the summer of 2000. It is now known from a dozen locations in relatively non-threatened habitats. Consequently it was moved from the Red list to the Blue list. On the other hand, Caribou (southern population) were moved from the Blue list to the Red list when extensive surveys indicated that their population numbers were decreasing, and the threats they were exposed to were increasing. The Conservation Data Centre attempts to review ranks annually.

Links to other FAQ topics

General

Endangered Species and Ecosystems
BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer
Ecological Communities
Known Locations of Species and Ecosystems