Conservation Designations for UK Taxa

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.


Find out about the background to the spreadsheet.Marsh saxifrage © Peter Wakely/Natural England



Download the spreadsheet

Download latest version of the Conservation Designations Spreadsheet (7 MB)

File name:


NB: the date last updated is included in the file title (eg 20140822 = 22/08/2014 and  the file is zipped to facilitate downloading. See details of the updating process to discover how this spreadsheet differs from previous versions.




Spreadsheet contents and guidance for use

The spreadsheet contains over 11660 “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. Please note, this is not a fully comprehensive collation of designations for UK species, for example, local red list assessments are not included, and for some reporting categories only selected annexes/appendices/schedules are included.


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.


Latest Updates

The Conservation Designations spreadsheet had a big update in April 2014. The version produced in August 2014 removed an incorrect designation that had been mistakenly included. The spreadsheet incorporates now pdates on The Wildlife and Countryside Act, Section 42 of the NERC Act (Wales) and the Habitats Directive. Three new red lists have been added: British Lichens and Lichenicolous Fungi, Boletaceae and darkling beetles.

Further details and 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. Please, let us know if you find any errors or if you would like to see any other lists added to the compilation. Any new ideas of how to improve the collation will be very welcomed.

Find out more about the updating process.