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Provincial Red and Blue Lists

Use BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer to create all Red and Blue Lists.

See NatureServe Conservation Status for an explanation of conservation status ranks and how they are determined.

See Ecological Communities in British Columbia: Conservation Status Assessment Factors (PDF 258 KB) for an explanation of ecological community ranking in British Columbia.

Includes any ecological community, and indigenous species and subspecies that is extirpated, endangered, or threatened in British Columbia. Extirpated elements no longer exist in the wild in British Columbia, but do occur elsewhere. Endangered elements are facing imminent extirpation or extinction. Threatened elements are likely to become endangered if limiting factors are not reversed. Red-listed species and sub-species may be legally designated as, or may be considered candidates for legal designation as Extirpated, Endangered or Threatened under the Wildlife Act (see Not all Red-listed taxa will necessarily become formally designated. Placing taxa on these lists flags them as being at risk and requiring investigation.

Includes any ecological community, and indigenous species and subspecies considered to be of special concern (formerly vulnerable) in British Columbia. Elements are of special concern because of characteristics that make them particularly sensitive to human activities or natural events. Blue-listed elements are at risk, but are not Extirpated, Endangered or Threatened.

Relationship of Red and Blue lists to CDC Ranks

Species and ecological communities are assigned to the RED or BLUE list on the basis of the provincial Conservation Status Rank (SRANK) assigned by the Conservation Data Centre.

  Red List Blue List
Animals SX SH S1 S1S2 S2 S2? S1S3 S2S3 S3 S3? S3S4
Plants SX SH S1 S1S2 S2 S2S3 S3
Ecological Communities SX SH S1 S1S2 S2 S2S3 S3

Purpose of the Red and Blue lists

The RED and BLUE lists serve two purposes:

  1. To provide a list of species for consideration for more formal designation as Endangered or Threatened, either provincially under the British Columbia Wildlife Act, or nationally by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).

  2. To help inform setting conservation priorities for species/ecological communities considered at risk in British Columbia.

The rankings highlight species and ecological communities that have particular threats, declining population trends, or restricted distributions that indicate that they require special attention. These lists serve as a practical method to assist in making conservation and land-use decisions and prioritize research, inventory, management, and protection activities. For example, Operational Planning Regulations in the Forest Practices Code of British Columbia Act use the Red and Blue lists in the development of the list of Identified Wildlife.

History of the Red and Blue Lists

Red and Blue lists have been produced since 1992.

Further information on the development of the Red and Blue lists can be found in:

  • 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.

Questions about the Red and Blue lists should be addressed to:



Leah Ramsay, R.P.Bio.
Program Zoologist
BC Conservation Data Centre
Ministry of Environment

Jenifer Penny, R.P.Bio.
Program Botanist
BC Conservation Data Centre
Ministry of Environment

Carmen Cadrin, P.Ag., R.P.Bio.
Program Ecologist
BC Conservation Data Centre
Ministry of Environment

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