NWT Species Infobase

What is the NWT Species Infobase?

The Northwest Territories (NWT) Species Infobase  is a searchable catalogue of referenced information on NWT species. It includes the information on habitat, distribution, population numbers, trends and threats used to rank the general status of NWT species.

The Infobase is regularly updated by the NWT Species General Status Ranking Program. Thousands of species have been ranked and are included in the Infobase. The number of species ranked by the program increases every year. The goal is to include as many as possible of the 30,000 species estimated to be present in the NWT.

How do I use the Infobase?

The infobase can be used to search by species, or to filter by group of species, by rank or by ecoregion.  

Find out more about the NWT Species Infobase and how this information is used to rank the general status of species in the most recent NWT Species report (2021-2025).  

What do the ranks mean?

Each species is placed into one of ten standard ranks defined below. For more about species ranking, visit NWT Species General Ranking.

  1. At Risk: Species at high risk of extinction or extirpation. This category is used only for species that have been assessed in detail as “Endangered” or “Threatened” in the NWT according to SARC or in Canada according to COSEWIC.
  2. May Be At Risk: Species that may be at risk of extinction or extirpation, and are therefore candidates for detailed risk assessment by COSEWIC or SARC.
  3. Sensitive: Species that are not at high risk of extinction or extirpation but require some special attention or protection to prevent them from becoming more at risk.
  4. Secure: Species that are neither at risk nor sensitive. These species have the lowest priority for a detailed assessment.
  5. Undetermined: Species for which insufficient information, knowledge or data is available to reliably evaluate their general status rank.
  6. Not Assessed: Species which have not been examined for ranking.
  7. Alien: Species that have been introduced as a result of human activities. Synonymous with exotic or introduced.
  8. Extirpated/Extinct: Species no longer thought to be present in the NWT (extirpated) or are believed no longer present anywhere in the world (extinct).
  9. Vagrant: Species occurring infrequently and unpredictably in the NWT. These species are outside their usual range. Changes in the number of vagrant species may be a good indicator of general ecosystem or climatic change.
  10. Presence Expected: Species not yet recorded in the NWT, but are expected to be present due to presence in adjacent jurisdiction(s), presence of appropriate habitat in the NWT, or other evidence.

What are S-Ranks?

The S-Rank is part of a standardized ranking system developed by NatureServe to rank species at a provincial or territorial level. This international standard allows for ranks to be combined or compared with results of similar programs in Canada and around the world. NWT species are assigned ranks under both ranking systems. See how the NWT General Status Ranks compare to the equivalent S-Ranks in the table below.

* Only includes species assessed as either Endangered or Threatened according to COSEWIC or SARC
** May include species assessed as Special Concern by COSEWIC or SARC

Species are ranked based on several factors describing rarity in distribution and abundance, trends and threats. These factors are scored using a letter rating code (A to H), which is used to calculate the overall General Status Rank of the species.

For more information about how NWT species are ranked, visit:

How do I cite information from the Infobase?

References are provided for all information in the NWT Species Infobase.

If the original source is a website or printed material, the original source should be cited and use of the Infobase should be acknowledged. If the original source is a knowledgeable person, the information may be cited as:

        Name, Affiliation. (Current date). in Government of the Northwest Territories. NWT Species Infobase.

Many of the references cited in the Infobase are available in the ECC-ITI-Lands Resource Centre.