GLOBAL ELEMENT RANKS (from The Nature Conservancy)

G1 Critically imperiled globally because of extreme rarity (typically 5 or fewer occurrences or very few remaining individuals or acres) or because of some factor(s) making it especially vulnerable to extinction.

G2 Imperiled globally because of rarity (6 to 20 occurrences or few remaining individuals or acres) or because of some factor(s) making it very vulnerable to extinction throughout its range.

G3 Rare or uncommon but not imperiled. Either very rare and local throughout its range or found locally (even abundantly at some of its locations) in a restricted range (e.g., a single western state, a physiographic region in the East) or because of other factors making it vulnerable to extinction throughout its range; in terms of occurrences, in the range of 21 to 100.

G4 Not rare and apparently secure globally, though it might be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery; cause for long-term concern. (Usually more than 100 occurrences.)

G5 Demonstrably secure globally; widespread and abundant, though it may be quite rare in parts of its range, especially at the periphery.

GH Of historical occurrence throughout its range, - possibly extinct - i.e., formerly part of the established biota with the expectation that it may be rediscovered (e.g., Bachman's warbler).

GU Possibly in peril range-wide, but status uncertain; need more information.

GX Believed to be extinct throughout its range (e.g., passenger pigeon) with virtually no likelihood that it will be rediscovered.

G#G# Range of ranks; insufficient information to rank more precisely.

G? Not yet ranked.

G#T# For infraspecific taxa; the G rank applies to the full species and the T rank applies to the infraspecific taxon.

G#Q Taxonomic status is questionable.


STATE ELEMENT RANKS (from Nature Conservancy and/or State Heritage Programs)

Numeric Rank: Based primarily on the number of occurrences of the species in the state.

S1 Critically imperiled in state (usually 5 or fewer occurrences); especially vulnerable to extirpation in the state.

S2 Imperiled in state (usually 6 to 20 occurrences).

S3 Rare or uncommon in state (usually 21 to 100 occurrences).

S4 Widespread, abundant, and apparently secure in the state, but with cause for long-term concern (usually more than 100 occurrences).

S5 Widespread, abundant and demonstrably secure in state.

S? Not yet ranked in the state.

SU Unrankable or uncertain status due to lack of information; possibly in peril

SE Exotic: an exotic established in the state.

SA Accidental or casual in state (infrequent and far outside usual range).

SH Historical: species occurred historically in the state (with the expectation that it may be extant and rediscovered), generally not having been verified in the past 20 years.

SX Apparently extirpated from state.

SN or SZN Regularly occurring, usually migratory and typically non-breeding, species for which no significant or effective habitat conservation measures can be taken in the state; no definable occurrences.

For species with distinct breeding (B) and non-breeding (N) populations, a breeding status SRANK can be coupled with its complementary non-breeding SRANK, separated by a comma, e.g., S2B, S3N or S1B, SHN.

SR Reported from state, but without persuasive documentation; species may be misidentified.

SRF Reported falsely; erroneously reported as occurring in the state and error has persisted in the literature.

SP Potentially occurs in the state, but no occurrences reported.

.1 Species documented from a single location.



E Formally listed as Endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

T Formally listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

PE Proposed Endangered.

PT Proposed Threatened.

C1 Taxa for which the Service currently has on file substantial information on biological vulnerability and threat(s) to support the appropriateness of proposing to list them as endangered or threatened species.

C1* Taxa which may be possibly extinct (although persuasive documentation of extinction has not been made).

Species of Concern

Federal species of concern includes those species formerly considered C2 candidates as described below. Although these C2 and C3 candidates are no longer officially considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act, the former candidate status is important historical information and is retained for this report.

C2 Taxa for which the information now in the possession of the Service indicates that proposing to list them as endangered or threatened species is possibly appropriate, but for which substantial data on biological vulnerability and threat(s) are not currently known or on file to support the immediate preparation of rules.

C3 Taxa that are no longer being considered for listing as threatened or endangered species. Such taxa are further coded to indicate three subcategories, depending on the reason(s) for removal from consideration.

3A Taxa for which the Service has persuasive evidence of extinction.

3B Names that, on the basis of current taxonomic understanding, do not represent taxa meeting the Act's definition of "species."

3C Taxa that have proven to be more abundant or widespread than was previously believed.

SA Similarity of appearance of species.



E Endangered Species: any species which meet any of the following criteria:

1) Any native species in imminent danger of extirpation and extinction in New York;

2) Any species listed as endangered by the U.S. Department of Interior.

T Threatened Species: any species which meet any of the following criteria:

1) Any native species likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future in New York;

2) Any species listed as threatened by the U.S. Department of Interior.

SC Special Concern Species: those species which are not yet recognized as endangered or threatened, but for which documented concern exists for their continued welfare in New York. Unlike the first two categories, species of special concern receive no additional protection under Environmental Conservation Law.

P Protected Wildlife: wild game, protected wild birds, and endangered species of wildlife.

U Unprotected: the species may be taken at any time without limit; however a license to take may be required.

G Game: any variety of big game or small game species as stated in the Environmental Conservation Law; many normally have an open season for at least part of the year, and are protected at other times.

( ) Legal status of animal species in New York State shown in the tables is from 1987; an update of this list was under consideration by the state legislature as of the printing of this report, and these proposed changes are indicated in parentheses on the species lists in this report.



E Endangered Species: listed species are those with:

1) 5 or fewer extant sites;

2) fewer than 1,000 individuals;

3) restricted to fewer than 4 USGS 7 1/2 minute topographical maps; or

4) species listed as endangered by the U.S. Department of Interior.

T Threatened: listed species are those with:

1) 6 to fewer than 20 extant sites;

2) 1,000 to fewer than 3,000 individuals;

3) restricted to not less than 4 or more than 7 USGS 7 1/2 minute topographic quadrangles; or

4) species listed as threatened by U.S. Department of Interior.

R Rare: listed species have:

1) 20 to 35 extant sites; or

2) 3000 to 5000 individuals statewide.

V Exploitably vulnerable: listed species are likely to become threatened in the near future throughout all or a significant portion of their range within the state if causal factors continue unchecked.



D Declining species: a species that has exhibited a continued decline in population numbers over the years.

E Endangered species: an species whose prospects for survival within the state are in immediate danger due to one or many factors - loss of habitat, over-exploitation, predation, competition, disease. An endangered species requires immediate assistance or extinction will probably follow.

T Threatened species: a species that may become endangered if conditions surrounding the species begin or continue to deteriorate.

EX Extirpated species: a species that formerly occurred in New Jersey, but is not now known to exist within the state.

I Introduced species: a species not native to New Jersey that could not have established itself here without the assistance of man.

INC Increasing species: a species whose population has exhibited a significant increase, beyond the normal range of its life cycle, over a long time period.

P Peripheral: a species whose occurrence in New Jersey is at the extreme edge of its present natural range.

S Stable species: a species whose population is not undergoing any long-term increase or decrease within its natural cycle.

U Undetermined species: a species about which there is not enough information available to determine the status.

LP Pinelands: a species listed by the Pinelands Commission as endangered or threatened within their legal jurisdiction.



N.B.: These rankings were developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service based on similar ranking schemes developed by The Nature Conservancy. These rankings apply strictly to the status of the species within the watershed boundaries of the New York Bight. The species may actually have a completely different status (more or less abundant) in the state as a whole relative to the Bight or in other regions of their range. In some instances the species occurrence in the Bight may be historical, though still extant elsewhere in the state.


BW1 Extremely rare and perhaps in danger of extirpation throughout the New York Bight estuary and watershed (hereinafter referred to as the "Bight"), typically with 5 or fewer occurrences/populations or very few remaining individuals or whose total habitat in the New York Bight is very small. Such species are especially vulnerable to extirpation throughout the Bight due to their extreme rarity or because of one or more threats to their existence. U.S. Endangered or Threatened species and Category 1 candidates typically belong in this category as well as species that are listed as State Endangered or Threatened (E/T) in both states or that occur in only a single state where they are listed as E/T. Species or taxa that are globally imperiled (ranked G1-G2 or T1-T2) also belong in this category.

BW2 Threatened throughout the Bight because of rarity (typically 6 to 20 occurrences or few remaining individuals or acres) or because of some factor(s) making it very vulnerable to extirpation throughout a substantial portion of the Bight. Included are those species listed as State Endangered or Threatened by one of the states in which they occur and having a state rank of S1-S2 and/or being listed as a Species of Special Concern or Rare species in the other state portion of the watershed. Many species formerly considered as Category 2 candidate species belong here as do species or taxa considered globally rare or uncommon (G3 or T3). Also included here are those species with rare or extremely localized resident breeding populations or small winter resident populations within the Bight although occurring commonly and in some instances abundantly, as seasonal migrants passing through the Bight area. In the case of the latter, there may or may not be determinable migratory use habitats in the Bight.

BW3 Rare or uncommon, but not imperiled or in danger of extirpation, throughout the Bight (on the order of 21 to 100 occurrences). Such species occur predominantly as rare and/or declining species, though not State-listed as Endangered or Threatened in either or both of the Bight states in which they occur, although they may be locally abundant in a limited portion of their total Bight range. Usually these species have state rankings in the range S2 to S3 in both states or occur in only a single state with a ranking of S3 or S3S4. Other species considered here are seasonal migrants, often occurring in sizable concentrations and numbers, with no breeding populations in the Bight but for which there are determinable migratory use habitats in the Bight.

BW4 Species whose existence is apparently secure throughout the Bight, with many occurrences, though it may be quite rare in parts of the Bight, especially at the periphery. Typically, such species are viewed as being predominantly common to abundant in the Bight and are generally listed as S3S4 or S4 in both states. Some of the peripheral populations of these species may be vulnerable to extirpation, but not the species over the Bight as a whole. Other species in this category include those whose numbers of resident individuals and breeding populations in the Bight are currently abundant, but whose overall regional population status is declining in the Northeast and/or in the Bight, as is the case with many Neotropical migratory birds. Many heavily exploited estuarine and marine finfish and shellfish species, even though still fairly abundant in the Bight, are also included here, particularly those which were historically more widespread or abundant but are now substantially reduced in numbers of individuals or local populations in the Bight and remain vulnerable to continued exploitation.

BW5 Species is demonstrably secure throughout the Bight, though it may be quite rare or local in parts of the Bight, especially at the periphery of the species' range in the Bight. The species is generally determined to be common to abundant (S4S5 or S5) by both states in which it occurs, including within the Bight, and is in no danger of extirpation in either state portion of the watershed or in the open marine waters of the Bight.

BW? Population Status Unknown or Uncertain in the Bight watershed, though it may be in peril. More information is needed on its status and distribution in the Bight.

BWH Species occurrence in the Bight watershed is historical only, with no known extant populations in the Bight. As a rule, such species have not been verified as still being extant in the Bight in the past 20 years or so. It may still be extant, however, outside the watershed boundaries in one or both of the states comprising the Bight. (Species that are historical in the watershed are shown in a shaded pattern in the tables.)

BWX Species appears to have been extirpated from the Bight watershed and is unlikely to become reestablished in the near future.

BWO Species not known to occur in the Bight watershed but does occur within adjacent watersheds within habitat complexes delineated in this report, e.g., populations of the small whorled pogonia occur in the Delaware River watershed portion of the Shawangunk - Kittatinny Ridge Habitat Complex.



Codes indicating the status of a species population within a specific habitat complex or other area.

+ Known to occur in the area; seasonal use not specified.

H Known to occur historically in the area but not since 1970.

B Breeds in the area.

M Migrates through the area and has identifiable migratory stopover or staging areas within the watershed.

W Overwinters in the area.

P Primarily pelagic.

I Introduced or reintroduced.



Scientific names generally follow those used by the Natural Heritage Programs in New York and New Jersey and the most current lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants (see state listed species chapter, p. 46, for additional detail). Common names are the most commonly accepted names for plants and/or the name most frequently used in the region. Primary references consulted include the following:


Gleason, H.A. and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. Second edition. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY. 910 p.

Kartesz, J.T. and R. Kartesz. 1980. A synonimized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. Volume II, the biota of North America. The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Mitchell, R.S. 1986. A checklist of New York State plants. Bulletin no. 458, New York State Museum, Albany, NY.


Banks, R.C., R.W. McDiarmid, and A.L. Gardner. 1987. Checklist of vertebrates of the United States, the U.S. Territories, and Canada. United States Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service, Washington, D.C.


American Ornithologists' Union. 1983. Checklist of North American birds, 6th edition. Allen Press, Lawrence, KS.

Amphibians and Reptiles:

Collins, J.T. 1990. Standard common and current scientific names for North American amphibians and reptiles. Third edition. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles. Herpetological circular no. 19. Lawrence, KS.


American Fisheries Society. 1991. Common and scientific names of fishes from the United States and Canada. Fifth edition. American Fisheries Society special publication 20, Bethesda, MD.



American Fisheries Society. 1988. Common and scientific names of aquatic invertebrates from the United States and Canada: Mollusks. American Fisheries Society Special Publication 16, Bethesda, MD.


Borror, D.J. and R.E. White. 1970. A field guide to insects, America North of Mexico. Peterson Field Guide Series, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA.


Cech, R. 1993. A distributional checklist of the butterflies and skippers of the New York City area (50-mile radius) and Long Island. New York City Butterfly Club, Brooklyn, NY

Communities: see Appendix II.

List of Animal Species of Special Emphasis

List of Plant Species of Special Emphasis

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