Government of New Brunswick

How do we classify the status of wildlife species? By assigning one of following General Status ranks:

Species that are extirpated worldwide (i.e., they no longer exist anywhere).

Species that are no longer present in New Brunswick but occur in other areas.

At Risk:
Species for which a formal detailed risk assessment has been completed, and have been determined to be at risk of extirpation or extinction (i.e. Endangered) or is likely to become at risk of extirpation or extinction if limiting factors are not reversed (i.e. Threatened). To be described by this category, a species must be listed as either Endangered or Threatened by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), or the New Brunswick equivalent.

May Be At Risk:
Species or populations that may be at risk of extirpation or extinction, and are therefore candidates for a detailed risk assessment by COSEWIC or the New Brunswick equivalent. It includes species that are of concern because of low numbers, population declines, or habitat pressures - often in combination with a lack of information concerning these factors. A detailed and comprehensive examination of these species would be required to determine if they truly are At Risk.

Species which are not believed to be at risk of immediate extirpation or extinction, but which may require special attention or protection to prevent them from becoming at risk. For some species these concerns include the potential impact of human activities covering broad areas of the environment. For other species or populations these concerns center on some feature of their life history, such as a naturally small population size, declining population, clumped or concentrated distribution, or narrow habitat requirements. In many instances, it is a combination of life history features and exposure to possible human-caused or natural threats that result in a rank of Sensitive. Thus, it is important to consider the specific context for ranking each species or population as Sensitive, particularly those for which potential threats are specified. This rank does not necessarily imply that all of the factors influencing a population are of concern, or that management or recreational use of those species is likely to cause them to become at risk.


Species that are not believed to be At Risk, May Be At Risk, Sensitive, Extirpated, Extinct, Accidental or Exotic. These are generally species that are widespread and/or abundant. Although some Secure species may be declining, their level of decline is not felt to be a threat to their status in the province.

Status Undetermined:
Species for which there is insufficient data, information, or knowledge available to reliably evaluate their general status. These are usually species for which there are few documented occurrences in New Brunswick. Some of these species appear to be just establishing populations in the province, and it is difficult to determine whether these are long-term expansions or not. Others are obscure species, either because of their behaviour or because of their size and inaccessible habitat. It is possible that these species have larger populations or wider distributions than are suggested by our current level of information.

Not Assessed:
Species known or believed to be present in New Brunswick but which have not yet been assessed by the general status program.

Species that have been moved beyond their natural range as a result of human activity, whether intentional or not intentional. Species are ranked as Exotic only if they have established, breeding populations; these are defined as being present and breeding in the jurisdiction for at least three generations or 10 years, whichever is shorter. Species that have not become established are not listed. Because general status ranking treats native species only, Exotic species have been purposefully excluded from all other categories.

Species occurring infrequently and unpredictably outside their usual range. This includes species that are accidental and not expected to return; occasional vagrants; and those that may appear most years or even every year, but are rare and unpredictable. If breeding has been recorded, it is extremely rare and does not occur in most years.

Occurrence Not Verified:
Species which have been reported in New Brunswick, but for which there is no documented evidence, or species which are suspected to occur in New Brunswick because they occur in neighbouring provinces or states.