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 (7.7 MB)

File name:


NB: the date last updated is included in the file title (eg 20050830 = 30/8/2005 and  the file is zipped to facilitate downloading. See details of the updating process to discover how this spreadsheet differs from previous versions.


If you are not able to download or decompress  ZIP archives successfully you may wish to download the uncompressed version of the conservation designations for UK taxa, but note this file is very large (71 MB)  and will take approximately three hours to download on a 56 kbps modem.


Spreadsheet contents and guidance for use

The spread sheet contains over 8000 “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 most recent update was carried out in October 2011. The spreadsheet now includes the Northern Ireland Priority Species list, OSPAR, an updated Global Red List and the new UK Red List of Water 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. More content will be added in future updates.  Please let us know if you find any errors, or if you would like to see any other lists added to the compilation.


Find out more about the updating process.