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NatureServe and its NatureServe Network Programs and collaborators use a rigorous, consistent, and transparent methodology to assess the conservation status (extinction or extirpation risk) of species of plants, animals, and fungi, as well as the conservation status (collapse or extirpation risk) of ecosystems. Visit our website to learn more about the methodology.

NatureServe and the Network maintain standard lists of elements for both species (including subspecies and other lower taxonomic units) and multiple scales of ecosystems (ecological vegetation types, natural communities). For ecosystems, ranks are currently available for many NatureServe Terrestrial Ecological Systems and for IVC groups and associations in the United States; ranks for IVC alliances are being developed.