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WYNDD develops and maintains lists of species in Wyoming that are rare, endemic, disjunct, threatened, or otherwise biologically sensitive, and supporting documentation. These lists are used to direct data acquisition at WYNDD. Plants and animals are considered for inclusion on the Species of Concern List (also known as tracked species) if they are vulnerable to extirpation at the global or state level due to:
Additionally, our Species of Potential Concern List (SOPC, also known as watched species) includes species that appear to be secure at present, but because they have limited distribution as regional or state endemics they could become vulnerable under large-scale changes. Species with this status warrant periodic checks.
The conservation priority of any species needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis using established methodologies developed by the Natural Heritage Network, WYNDD biologists and the best available information. The species of concern lists are intended to provide decision makers and the public with sufficient background information to determine which species are the highest priority for conservation attention and often scarce dollars for implementation.
Not all rare species are equal, however. Species that are common or widespread globally, but rare at the periphery of their range, are often viewed as a lower management priority than locally restricted endemics or disjuncts. Factors like threats, population trends, biological significance, viability, and others also need to be taken into account when determining conservation priorities. This list is intended only as a reference for decision makers and the public. The selection of conservation targets is still the responsibility of management agencies guided by input from informed citizens and constituents.