Global & State Ranking

Heritage Ranks
The Natural Heritage Program uses the Heritage ranking system developed by The Nature Conservancy. Each species is assigned two ranks; one representing its range wide or global status (GRANK), and one representing its status in the state (SRANK). GRANK criteria follow those of SRANK except for species having several subspecies. In these cases, a subrank made up of the letter "T" plus a number or letter (1,2,3,4,5,H,U,X,?) Is added to the GRANK.

Click here for a downloadable version.

A guide to ranking criteria and symbols follows:
 - Critically imperiled in Mississippi because of extreme rarity (5 or fewer occurrences or very few remaining individuals or acres) or because of some factor(s) making it vulnerable to extirpation.

S2 - Imperiled in Mississippi because of rarity (6 to 20 occurrences or few remaining individuals or acres) or because of some factor(s) making it vulnerable to extirpation. 

S3 - Rare or uncommon in Mississippi (on the order of 21 to 100 occurrences).

S4 - Widespread, abundant, and apparently secure in the state, but with cause for long-term concern ( more than 101 occurrences).

S5 - Demonstrably widespread, abundant, and secure in the state.

SH - Of historical occurrence in Mississippi, perhaps not verified in the past 20 years, and suspected to be extant. An element would also be ranked SH if the only known occurrence(s) were destroyed, or if it had been sought extensively and unsuccessfully looked for. Upon verification of an extant occurrence, SH-ranked elements would typically receive an S1 rank.

SR - Reported from the state, but without persuasive documentation, which would provide a basis for either accepting or rejecting the report.

SU - Possibly in peril in Mississippi but status uncertain; need more information. May also be represented by S?.

S?  - Unranked: Element is not yet ranked in the state.

SX - Element is believed to be extirpated from the state.

SE - Exotic: An exotic established in the state; may be native in nearby regions (e.g. pecans along the eastern seaboard of the U.S.)

SA - Accidental: accidental or casual in the state (i.e., infrequent and far outside usual range).

SZ - Zero occurrences in the state. Not of practical conservation concern in the state, because there are no definable occurrences, although the taxon is native and appears regularly in the state.

SP - Potential: Element potentially occurs in the state but no occurrences reported.

SR - Reported: Element reported in the state but without persuasive demonstration which would provide a basis for either accepting or rejecting (e.g. misidentified specimen) the report.

SRF - Reported falsely: Element erroneously reported in the state and the error has persisted in the literature.

HYB - Hybrid: Element represents hybrid of species.

SSYN - Synonym

 - Inexact
 - Captive or Cultivated

Breeding Status
(Applicable to migratory species, mainly birds, but also includes sea turtles, some fish, and some insects).
B - Breeding Status
- Non-breeding Status

Explanation of State and Federal Status
State Status - Plants receive no formal legal protection by state law in Mississippi other than that provided for in the trespass laws.

Federal Status - From Federal Register.

LE Endangered - A species which is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.

LT Threatened - A species which is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.

C Candidate Species- Species for which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service currently has substantial information supporting the biological appropriateness of proposing to list as endangered or threatened. Proposed rules have not yet been issued because they have been precluded at present by other listing activity. Development and publication of proposed rules in anticipated, however, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service encourages Federal Agencies and other appropriate parties to give considerations to such taxa in environmental planning.

C2 Candidate Category 2 - The Service identified Category 2 candidates as taxa for which information in the possession of the Service indicated that proposing to list as endangered or threatened was possibly appropriate, but for which sufficient data on biological vulnerability and threat were not currently available to support proposed rules. The quality of information varied greatly among the former Category 2 species, but they all shared one trait-sufficient information to justify issuance of a proposed rule was lacking. The designation of Category 2 species as candidates resulted in confusion about the conservation status of these taxa. To reduce that confusion, and to clarify that the Service does not regard these species as candidates for listing, the Service has discontinued the designation of Category 2 species as candidates. The Service remains concerned about these species, but further biological research and field study are needed to resolve the conservation status of these taxa. The Service encourages other Federal agencies to give consideration to these taxa in environmental planning. The designation of Category 3 is discontinued, but the Service has retained all Category 3 information in case future reviews are conducted on these taxa.

3A Subcategory 3A - Species for which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has persuasive evidence of extinction. If rediscovered, however, such taxa warrant high priority for addition to the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. 

3C Subcategory 3C - Species that are now considered to be more abundant and/or widespread than previously thought. Should new information suggest that such taxon is experiencing a numerical or distributional decline, or is under a substantial threat, it may be considered for transfer to category 1 or 2

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