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Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN)

What Are SGCN?

The State Wildlife Grants program provides funds for conservation efforts aimed at preventing fish and wildlife populations from declining, reducing the potential for these species to be listed as endangered. In order to access these grant funds, New York State was required to develop a Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (CWCS) that focuses on the Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN). This list of SGCN includes species that are rare or declining. In the 2005 CWCS, 537 species were listed as SGCN. In the 2015 revisions to the list, some of these species were reclassified as either no longer present in New York, or Species of Potential Conservation Need (SPCN) due to a lack of current information on their population status.

How Was The SGCN List Updated?

Information on life history, conservation status, and population trends for 597 species was compiled into assessments by DEC. A model to categorize SGCN according to the urgency of their conservation need was developed by the New York Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Cornell University, with input from conservation partners and DEC staff. The technical information from the species assessments was input to the model, resulting in:

  • 366 SGCN, of which 167 are High Priority SGCN.
    - View the complete SGCN list (PDF) (411 kb)
  • 113 additional species categorized as Species of Potential Conservation Need (SPCN), because of insufficient available information to reliably determine their current population status.
    - View the SPCN list (PDF) (359 kb)
  • 93 species determined to no longer be present in New York.
  • 25 species removed from the SGCN list because their populations were determined to be secure in New York.

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