Species of Greatest Conservation Need
Along with species that have been afforded legal protection (Federal and State Listed Species) due to risk of extinction, Texas hosts well over 1,300 species that are considered to be Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN). Native animals or plants designated as a SGCN are generally those that are declining or rare and in need of attention to recover or to prevent the need to list under state or federal regulation. These species are the focus of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's Texas Conservation Action Plan and guide the department's nongame conservation efforts. The lists of SGCN below also inform regional and local conservation efforts and highlight the rich biological diversity and unique natural heritage of Texas.
Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Texas
Lists of SGCN were developed for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department's (TPWD) revised Texas Conservation Action Plan through expert consultation and public feedback. Species are ranked using a conservation status system established by NatureServe. NatureServe ranks are based on multiple criteria including range extent, known occurrences, abundance, and threats. Because of this tool's utility for multiple taxa and its use on landscape scales crossing political boundaries, Natureserve rankings were the primary method of incorporating declining and rare species to address in the plan. Each species and plant community possesses a global (range-wide) and state rank based on their respective conservation status. The conservation status of a species is designated by a number from one to five, preceded by a letter reflecting the appropriate geographic scale (G=Global, S=State). Numbers have the following meaning: 1) Critically imperiled, 2) Imperiled, 3) Vulnerable, 4) Apparently secure, and 5) Secure.