The Conservation Rank Calculator is a tool that automates the process of assigning a conservation status rank—an evaluation of the level of risk of extinction of species and elimination of ecosystems. It is used extensively by NatureServe and its member programs and collaborators that collect and evaluate data for species and ecosystems of concern using a common methodology. The Rank Calculator tool facilitates the accurate application of this methodology and promotes greater accuracy and consistency of the assessments. It is programmed in Microsoft Excel.
Updated in December 2014, Version 3.17 contains a few updates to the threats list to match updates made in Biotics 5, a new function for deleting data from the Calculator Table, and slight improvements to the copy functions and copy instructions.
Assessing the conservation status—or extinction risk of species and elimination risk of ecosystems—requires detailed knowledge of the distribution, population size and trends, and critical threats (e.g., habitat loss or fragmentation). The Conservation Rank Calculator enables conservation biologists within the NatureServe network and others to translate their knowledge of specific species and ecosystems into a three categories of information (rarity, threats and trends). The tool is then able to use this data to “calculate” an overall conservation status rank by automatically applying the specific rules described in the methodology.
Features & Benefits
The Conservation Rank Calculator is a tool that facilitates the accurate application of NatureServe’s Conservation Status Methodology. Use of the tool improves the reliability and transparency of the ranking process and results in more consistent assessments. NatureServe has worked with the World Conservation Union (IUCN) to standardize the ratings for shared information fields. The standardized ratings permit sharing of data between organizations and countries and allow the information to be used in both IUCN and NatureServe assessments.
Features of the tool include:
- Basic information on how to use the rank calculator and threats assessment worksheet
- Summary of how the rules are applied to generate a calculated status rank
- Summary of the individual status factors and rating values
- A Calculator Form for entering status factor ratings for a single species or ecosystem at a time and generating a calculated rank.
- A Threat Assessment worksheet that is used to automatically calculate the rating for the Overall Threat Impact status factor based on scope and severity values entered for individual threats
- Ability to store factor data and threats data for multiple species and ecosystems in tabular format. This tabular data may be transferred to the Calculator Form and Threats Assessment worksheet for better viewing and editing.
- Programmed in Microsoft Excel, a widely-used platform
- May be used to assess extinction risk of species and elimination risk of ecosystems at a global scale. It may also be used to assess regional extirpation (local extinction) risk of both species and ecosystems.
- Works in combination with NatureServe’s data management system (Biotics). The Biotics system contains tables for storing the status factor information and assigned conservation status ranks for species and ecosystems at global, national and subnational scales.
- Users of NatureServe’s Biotics software may import both individual status factor and threat data from Biotics into the calculator for revision and validation.