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Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN), a required component of the SWAP, represent species that are low and declining populations and that are indicative of the diversity and health of the Indiana’s wildlife.
SGCN were identified utilizing the most current published list of federally endangered, threatened or candidate species and Indiana’s list of endangered species and species of special concern. These species were cross-referenced with the Indiana Academy of Science Revised Checklist of the Vertebrates of Indiana for species range, relative abundance, season, and status. The state list of endangered species and species of special concern are reviewed and updated periodically, using expertise from scientists who study species within the state. Data were collected for representative species in all habitats that contained SGCN. This allows the habitat information to be used to infer conservation needs for SGCN. This will be especially significant for SGCN for which little species – species information is currently known. Habitat conservation efforts that benefit SGCN will also benefit all other wildlife in those habitats.
Every species in Indiana was identified to be a part of a guild to utilize the habitat-model approach. The species were picked based on biological features and whether constituents would recognize them as representative of the guild. The selected species “painted a reasonable mental picture of the associated habitat type” when presented to a diverse user group including biologists, the public, legislators, grant reviewers and other partners. Representative species also were used as mental tools to focus technical expert input on particular relationships between species and their habitats.
Species and guilds are found in Appendix C – Guilds.