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A rare species are an organism which are very uncommon or scarce. This designation may be applied to either a plant or animal taxon, and may be distinct from the term "endangered" or "threatened species" but not "extinct".Designation of a rare species may be made by an official body such as a national government, state or province. However, the term is used more commonly without reference to a specific criteria. The IUCN does not normally make such designations but may use the term in its scientific discussions.

The concept of rarity is established from having a very small number of organisms worldwide, usually a number less than 10,000; however, the concept is also influenced by having a very narrow endemic range and/or fragmented habitat.

A species may be endangered or vulnerable, but not considered rare if, for example, it has a large, dispersed population but its numbers are declining rapidly or predicted to do so. Rare species are generally considered threatened simply because the inability of small population sizes to recover from stochastic events, and the potential for a rapid decline in population.

Examples of rare species


Scientific Name Common Name Distribution
Anas laysanensis Laysan Duck Laysanmarker and Midwaymarker Island, Hawaii, United States
Crotalus durissus unicolor Aruba Island Rattlesnake Aruba Islandmarker
Dryococelus australis Lord Howe Island stick insect Ball's Pyramidmarker, Australia
Geochelone nigra abingdoni Abingdon Island Tortoise Pinta Islandmarker, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
Grus americana Whooping Crane Wood Buffalo National Parkmarker, Alberta, Canada
Nomascus nasutus Cao-vit Crested Gibbon Cao Bangmarker Forest, Vietnam
Petroica traversi Black Robin Chatham Islandsmarker, New Zealand
Rhinoceros sondaicus Javan Rhinoceros Ujung Kulon National Parkmarker, Indonesia and Cat Tien National Parkmarker, Vietnam
Strigops habroptila Kakapo Maudmarker, Little Barriermarker, Codfishmarker and Manamarker Islands, New Zealand
Thalasseus bernsteini Chinese Crested Tern Matsu Islandsmarker, Taiwan (claimed by China)


Scientific Name Common Name Distribution
Betula uber Virginia Round-leaf Birch Cressy Creek, Virginia, United States
Corypha taliera Dhaka Universitymarker campus, Bangladesh
Delphinium bakeri Baker's larkspur Marinmarker and Sonomamarker counties, California, United States
Mentzelia leucophylla Ash Meadows stick-leaf Ash Meadowsmarker, Nevada, United States
Pritchardia munroi Mauimarker, Hawaii, United States
Trifolium amoenum Showy Indian clover Marinmarker and Sonomamarker counties, California, United States
Wollemia nobilis Wollemi Pine Wollemi National Parkmarker, New South Wales, Australia

See also


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