British Columbia has already experienced local extinctions. Because resources for conservation are always scarce, establishing credible criteria for setting conservation priorities is critical. That is particularly true for British Columbia, which is home to some many species (see BC Richness). Because of its location and topography, however, British Columbia also hosts many species that seep across its boundaries irregularly. Such species can confuse the establishment of conservation priorities.
The Wildlife Data Centre has drawn from experience in North America, Europe, and Australia to create an effective approach to establishing conservation priorities. These priorities are assigned by looking at each species and evaluating provincial stewardship responsibility and the threats that may cause species to decline.
The greater degree to which a species or subspecies is concentrated in an area, the greater is the stewardship responsibility. Concentrations of species can occur in three major ways.
1) Endemic species and subspecies in British Columbia.
2) Significant portion of the world population in British Columbia
3) Significant portion of the world range in British Columbia
Threat may be evident in downward population trends or from vulnerability due to small or concentrated populations, or an action threatening either the species or its habitat. There are two indicators of threat that can be evaluated for species.
4) Assessing species vulnerabilities can be useful for fine-tuning conservation action
5) Population trends are useful tools for evaluating threat