On the critically endangered Cattle Egrets of Saskatchewan

Stumbled upon this observation

…which raised some questions for me. After poking around, it looks like the conservation status is provided by NatureServe. It seems like the designation is due to NatureServe having a certain formula for determining conservation status (numbers, breeding, etc.) combined with the cattle egret’s somewhat special case of being considered “native” due to its apparently unaided spread to the Americas from Africa (which I have trouble with, but that’s not necessarily the point of this post).

I don’t mind putting my cognitive dissonance to the side and chalking it up to an imperfect system if that’s where we’re at. But I’d just like to get some context from the community here–is this really a non-issue, because anyone seriously studying cattle egrets will obviously be familiar with their situation? Does it create minor problems for researchers specifically studying endangered taxa? I can’t imagine cattle egrets are the only taxa for which this “issue” exists. What do people do when they come across these designations in their research?

Just hoping for some perspective; any enlightenment is appreciated.

Natureserve rankings for birds are based on their breeding status, and obviously Cattle Egret are very rare breeders anywhere in Canada, hence the ranking.

It is exacerbated by Canada being the only nation on inat where curators can not override the rankings or obscuring decisions. NatureServe decisions for Canada are final and can not be changed on the site without their permission.


Wow, that is indeed unfortunate. Thanks for the response; that clears up a lot of questions for me.