Two people stand on a grassy hillside in the King Range Wilderness, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
BLM
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Mtn. Bike Rider on the Bizz Johnson Trail King Range National Conservation Area Poppy Three Pump Jacks, Midway-Sunset Oilfield
California
BLM>California>What We Do>Special Status Plants>Definitions of Plant Status
Print Page

Definitions of Plant Status

Federal Endangered plants are plant species, subspecies, or varieties in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of their range. These plants are considered "Federally-listed" because a final rule designating them as Endangered has been published in the Federal Register by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Federal Threatened plants are plant species, subspecies, or varieties likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of their range. These plants are considered "Federally-listed" because a final rule designating them as Threatened has been published in the Federal Register by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Federal Proposed Endangered or Threatened plants are those plant species. subspecies, or varieties for which a proposed regulation, but not a final rule, has been published in the Federal Register by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Federal Candidate species, subspecies, or varieties are those plants being considered for listing as Endangered or Threatened, but for which a proposed regulation has not yet been published in the Federal Register by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

California State Endangered plants are those species, subspecies, or varieties designated by the State of California as Endangered because they are in serious danger of becoming extinct throughout all, or a significant portion, of their range due to one or more causes, including loss of habitat, over exploitation, competition, or disease.

California State Threatened plants are those species, subspecies, or varieties designated by the State of California as Threatened because, although not presently threatened with extinction, they are likely to become an ndangered species in the foreseeable future in the absence of special protection and management efforts.

California State Rare plants are native California plant species, subspecies or varieties that, although not presently threatened with extinction, are in such small numbers throughout their range that they may become endangered if their present environment worsens.  The Native Plant Protection Act (NPPA) of 1977 applied the categories of "Endangered" and "Rare" to plant species, mirroring the designations created for animal species by the California Endangered Species Act of 1970.  The California Endangered Species Act (CESA) of 1984 applied to both animals and plants and created the categories of "Endangered" and "Threatened."  Because the 1984 CESA amended the 1970 CESA, in January 1985 all animal species formerly desginated as "Rare" were reclassified to "Threatened."  But because the 1984 CESA did not amend the NPPA, plants that were listed as "Rare" pursuant to the NPPA between 1977 and 1984 are still considered "Rare" today.  Since the passage of the 1984 CESA, plants have been designated only as either "Endangered" or "Threatened." Thus, there remain three categories of State-listed plants, "Endangered," "Threatened," and "Rare."

California State Rare Plant Rank.  The California Department of Fish and Game maintains a list of Special Vascular Plants, Bryophytes, and Lichens for California.  Each bryophyte and vascular plant on the list is given a Rare Plant Rank.  There are four ranks, described below.  Each rank has a decimal following the rank number (for example, one plant may have a rare plant rank of 1B.1; another's rank might be 4.3).  The decimals have the following meanings:  x.1 = seriously endangered in California; x.2 = fairly endangered in California; x.3 = not very endangered in California.  (Note: this decimal system was implemented fairly recently, so some of the older lists on BLM's website may not yet have decimals following the list designation.)

Rare Plant Rank 1B plants are native California species, subspecies or varieties that are rare, threatened, or endangered in California and elsewhere.  (Note: there is also a List 1A, which are plants that are extinct in California.)

Rare Plant Rank 2 plants are species that are rare, threatened, or endangered in California, but more common elsewhere.

Rare Plant Rank 3 plants are species about which more information is needed.

Rare Plant Rank 4 plants are species of limited distribution - a watch list.

Bureau of Land Management Sensitive plants are those plant species that are not federally Endangered, Threatened, or Proposed, but are designated by the BLM State Director for special management consideration.  In California this includes all plants on BLM lands that are Federal Candidates for listing, all plants that are listed as Endangered, Threatened, or Rare by the State of California, all plants that have a Rare Plant Rank of 1B in the most current online version of the California Department of Fish and Games list of Special Vascular Plants, Bryophytes, and Lichens (unless the State Director has determined, on a case-by-case basis, that a particular List 1B plant does not require Sensitive status), and any other plants the State Director has determined to warrant Sensitive status.  Because of BLM's scattered land pattern in much of California, the Sensitive plant list includes--in addition to those plants known to occur on BLM lands--plants that are suspected to occur on BLM lands due to their proximity or the similarity of their known habitat to habitat known to exist on BLM lands.  As more inventory work is completed, these suspected plants will either be redesignated as "known" to occur on BLM lands or dropped from the Sensitive plant list.

Nevada Native Plant Society Watch List contains potentially vulnerable plant species in need of monitoring or further data to determine status.

Nevada Critically Endangered plants are plants designated by the State of Nevada as threatened with extinction.