Trends in the Status of Native Vertebrate Species in B.C. (1992-2012)

The Conservation Status Index, shown in the graph below, reflects the overall conservation status of a group of species at a given time, and the trend in the Conservation Status Index over time is an indication of how the overall status of a group of species is changing.

  • The status of most vertebrate groups in British Columbia has declined since 1992—the year the B.C. Conservation Data Centre began assessing the status of species in British Columbia.
  • Marine mammals are on the rebound! Several species which were heavily hunted in the 1800s and early 1900s have recovering populations.
  • The overall decline in the status of birds was masked in the early 1990s by dramatic increases of several species that expanded their natural range into B.C.
  • B.C. vertebrate groups have different levels of natural rarity. For example, most of B.C.'s reptiles and amphibians are much rarer than the majority of B.C.'s birds, and thus the Conservation Status Index for the group is lower overall.
Chart showing changes in status of native vertebrate species.

Interpreting the Conservation Status Index:

Great Blue Heron, fannin subspecies

The conservation status of Coastal Great Blue Heron (fannini subspecies) has declined. Photo credit: Ross Vennesland

Sea otter

Sea otters were reintroduced to British Columbia in the 1970's, and their populations have been increasing. Photo credit: US NPS/Jim Pfeiffenberger

References and Other Useful Links


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Updated January 2014

Suggested Citation: Environmental Reporting BC. 2014. Trends in the Status of Native Vertebrate Species in B.C. (1992-2012). State of Environment Reporting, Ministry of Environment, British Columbia, Canada.