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Criteria Used to Select Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN)

The following information sources were used when selecting and prioritizing New Hampshire's Species of Greatest Conservation Need:


Species of Greatest Conservation Need from NH WAP 2005

118 species were listed as SGCN in NH’s 2005 Wildlife Action Plan. All but 13 of the 2005 SGCN were included in the 2015 revision.


Regional Species of Greatest Conservation Need
The Northeast Fish and Wildlife Diversity Technical Committee developed a list of species of regional conservation concern (Terwilliger Consulting 2013).


Endangered and Threatened Species Lists

All species listed as endangered or threatened in New Hampshire (updated September 2008), and those federally listed under the Endangered Species Act (1973) that are known to occur in New Hampshire were included.


Representative Species

Species listed as representative species by the USFWS Landscape Conservation Cooperative were evaluated for inclusion to the NH WAP.


Natural Heritage Rank: Animal Tracking List

Species tracked in the NH Natural Heritage Bureau rare species database (Biotics) and listed in the Animal Tracking List (2014) were considered for inclusion in the SGCN. The rare species database was used to determine the number of known occurrences of each species in New Hampshire. Species with a state rank of S1 (at very high risk of extinction due to extreme rarity, often 5 or fewer populations, very steep declines, or other factors) or S2 (at high risk of extinction or elimination due to very restricted range, very few populations, steep declines, or other factors) were included in the draft SGCN list. Invertebrates that were ranked as S1-S2 were incorporated in the list of SGCN if adequate knowledge of those species’ distributions and abundances was available.


Taxonomic Groups and Experts

Species were considered based on comments made by taxonomic experts.


Additional criteria used to determine a species’ status in the state included the following:

  • Distribution and abundance in New Hampshire and the Northeast
  • Statewide, regional, or global population trends
  • The status and risk to the species
  • Status and risk to species’ habitat in New Hampshire
  • Species vulnerability due to life-history traits
  • Information available to assess species status, trends, and threats.


Identifying NH's Wildlife Habitat:


The revised NH Wildlife Action Plan (2015) uses habitat types developed by the Northeast Terrestrial Habitat Classification (NETH) (Gawler 2008) and the Northeast Aquatic Habitat Classification (Olivero and Anderson 2008), which are hierarchical (broad to detailed) systematic systems for classifying habitats. The 27 key habitat types represents the suite of broad conditions that occur in New Hampshire, from alpine mountaintops to open ocean (marine), and the species groups associated with these habitats.


The NH Wildlife Action Plan includes two habitat maps available for use by conservation planners, landowners, land trusts, biologists and others. Learn more: NH Wildlife Action Plan Maps