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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A rare species is a group of organisms that are very uncommon, scarce, or infrequently encountered. This designation may be applied to either a plant or animal taxon, and is distinct from the term endangered or threatened. Designation of a rare species may be made by an official body, such as a national government, state, or province. The term more commonly appears without reference to specific criteria. The IUCN does not normally make such designations, but may use the term in scientific discussion.[1]

Rarity rests on a specific species being represented by a small number of organisms worldwide, usually fewer than 10,000. However, a species having a very narrow endemic range or fragmented habitat also influences the concept.[2][3] Almost 75% of known species can be classified as "rare".[4]

The International Union for Conservation of Nature uses the term "rare" as a designation for species found in isolated geographical locations. They are not endangered, but classified as "at risk".[5][6]

A species may be endangered or vulnerable, but not considered rare if it has a large, dispersed population. Rare species are generally considered threatened because a small population size is more likely to not recover from ecological disasters.[citation needed]

Rare species are species with small populations. Many move into the endangered or vulnerable category if the negative factors affecting them continue to operate. Examples of rare species include the Himalayan brown bear, Fennec fox, Wild Asiatic buffalo and Hornbill.

A rare plant's legal status can be observed through the USDA's Plants Database.

Rare species

Common name Scientific name Conservation status Population Global range
Giant Panda Ailuropoda melanoleuca Vulnerable 1,000 to 3,000 China
Wild Bactrian camel Camelus ferus Critically endangered 950 Kazakhstan/Northwest China/Southern Mongolia
Cheetah Acinonyx jubatus Vulnerable 7,000 to 10,000 Africa/Southwestern Asia
California condor Gymnogyps californianus Critically endangered 446 West North America
Alagoas curassow Mitu mitu Extinct in the wild 130 (in captivity) North East Brazil
Philippine eagle Pithecophaga jefferyi Critically endangered 200 breeding pairs Eastern Luzon, Samar, Leyte, and Mindanao
Black softshell turtle Nilssonia nigricans Extinct in the wild 150 to 300 (in captivity) Sultan Bayazid Bastami shrine at Chittagong
Key tree-cactus Pilosocereus robinii Critically Endangered 7 to 15 Florida Keys, Mexico, Puerto Rico
Kakapo Strigops habroptilus Critically Endangered 149 New Zealand
Maui's dolphin Cephalorhynchus hectori maui Critically Endangered 55 New Zealand
Vaquita Phocoena sinus Critically Endangered 12 Gulf of California (Mexico)
Gobi bear Ursus arctos gobiensis Critically Endangered 22 Gobi Desert (Mongolia)

See also


  1. ^ "Assessment Process". Retrieved 2017-11-14.
  2. ^ R. MacNally and G. W. Brown, Reptiles and Habitat Fragmentation in the Box-ironbush Forests of Central Victoria, Australia: Predicting Compositional Change and Faunal Nested-ness, Oecologia 128:116–125 (2001).
  3. ^ Prendergast, J. R.; Quinn, R. M.; Lawton, J. H.; Eversham, B. C.; Gibbons, D. W. (1993-09-23). "Rare species, the coincidence of diversity hotspots and conservation strategies". Nature. 365 (6444): 335–337. Bibcode:1993Natur.365..335P. doi:10.1038/365335a0.
  4. ^ Dinerstein, Eric (2013) The Kingdom of Rarities. Island Press. ISBN 9781610911955.
  5. ^ "Rare Species". Retrieved 2017-11-15.
  6. ^ "IUCN – A brief history". IUCN. 2017-10-06. Retrieved 2017-11-15.

External links

USDA Plant Database

Further reading

This page was last edited on 8 June 2020, at 15:13
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