How do we assess the status of New Brunswick's wildlife species?
Natural Resources assesses groups of species in consultation with biologists and naturalists who are familiar with the ecology and distribution of those wildlife species. The assessments include a number of issues related to the status of each species such as:
- How many individuals are present in the provincial population for a species, and is that number decreasing, increasing or stable?
- How much of the province does the species occupy, and is that area decreasing, increasing or stable? How many sites are occupied within that area?
- Is the species facing any known or probable threats to its populations or habitats?
Other factors are sometimes considered, such as the status of a species in neighbouring provinces or states, the extent to which species are protected in parks or other special management areas, and the sensitivity of species to natural factors, such as fires or storms. After consideration of all the available information on a species, a General Status rank is chosen for New Brunswick.
It should be noted that the application of General Status ranks to species reflects our best estimates on their current status. It reflects what we know about the species, and their threats, today. To ensure consistency among the jurisdictions, conservation status ranks have been defined by the National Working Group on the Status of Wildlife.
Once the provinces and territories have assessed and assigned a rank to each species, the National Working Group on the Status of Wildlife then determines a national rank, or Canada rank, for each species. These are based largely on the provincial and territorial input. The national reports, Wild Species, for 2000, 2005 and 2010, present both the individual provincial/territorial ranks as well as the Canada ranks for each species.
The provincial results available on this web site provide a greater level of detail on the status of wildlife species in New Brunswick than that found in the national reports. The national reports list only one Canada rank and one New Brunswick rank for each species. The provincial results include assessments for populations within species (for example, wintering, migrating) to help identify management needs more effectively. Species are separated by population when they are known to be (or strongly thought to be) composed of different individuals, located in different areas, and/or subject to different management concerns or threats. For all of these cases, the population that is felt to best represent the overall status of the species in the province is submitted to the national report as the New Brunswick rank for that species. This separation of species into individual populations occurs for several bird and freshwater fish species.