Conservation Designations for UK Taxa

Marsh saxifrage © Peter Wakely/Natural England

Over the past thirty years, numerous lists of conservation status have been produced: Red Lists, Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Lists, species listed on European Directives, species listed on the Schedules of the Wildlife & Countryside Act, together with lists of rare and scarce species. There is considerable overlap between these and some species appear on several of them. For example, the otter Lutra lutra, and the marsh saxifrage Saxifraga hirculus have as many as six “badges". JNCC has attempted to collate many of the current lists into one place and make this available to users as a downloadable spreadsheet of species designations.


Download the spreadsheet

Download the latest version of the Conservation Designations Spreadsheet

  • File name: (NB: the file was updated on 05/03/2019 from .xls to .xlsx and the file is zipped to facilitate downloading.)
  • A full list of updates carried out since the Conservation Designations spreadsheet was first published is available to view. 
  • We do not claim that these lists are fully comprehensive, for example, it does not incorporate all of the marine species "badges" or all Schedules in The Wildlife and Countryside Act. Local Red List assessments are not included, and for some reporting categories only selected annexes/appendices/schedules have been added.
  • JNCC will incorporate updates and corrections as necessary. If a source list, for example a red data book, has been reviewed in whole or in part, JNCC has had to decide whether or not to archive some or all of the content of the previous list. This has not always been straightforward, particularly in the case of some of the invertebrate red listings where some, but not all of the previously published list, have been reviewed and the status of the review is regarded by many as being "provisional". Nevertheless, we wanted to avoid the confusing situation where, for example, a species was listed as being "vulnerable" on one listing and "critically endangered" on another listing with the same geographical focus.


Spreadsheet contents and guidance for use

The spreadsheet contains over 12000 "taxa" that have been assigned some form of rarity, threat or legal status in Great Britain or the UK. Note that we refer to "taxa" rather than "species" in this context because many of the entities on the list are sub-species, (i.e. conservation priority action has been identified for a given sub-species but not the species as a whole). The spreadsheet can be searched to find which designations a particular taxon has, or to find out which UK taxa are listed for a given designation. 

The spreadsheet contains several worksheets. The most important being the "Master List". In effect the Master list is really a collation of different lists combined into the same data structure, with each row being distinguished by a unique combination of "taxa" and designation. Thus a taxon with 10 designations will be represented by ten rows on the Master list.

At a broad level the Master list comprises three categories of lists:


For a full explanation of what the spreadsheet contains and how best to use it please look at the spreadsheet guidance.


Re-use of information in the Conservation Designations Spreadsheet is subject to the terms of the Open Government Licence, which means it may be used and distributed freely with only a few conditions. If you re-use this information you must acknowledge the source of the information in your product or application by including or linking to the following attribution statement: “Contains JNCC/NE/NRW/SNH/NIEA data © copyright and database right 2018”.