Status determination is the process by which the Pennsylvania Biological Survey (PABS) — in an advisory capacity to the Game Commission (PGC), Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) — evaluates species', subspecies' and ecological communities' risk of loss from the state and recommends or petitions that biodiversity elements at risk be given special attention for regulatory listing as provided by law. Determinations are made using an established procedure based on objective science, expert opinion, criteria specified in official regulations, and non-regulatory guidelines from authorities such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), on factors to be considered or data requirements to be met in determining the status of a species or other element of biodiversity. The list maintained by PABS is advisory, not regulatory. However, there is every effort to maintain consistency between PABS non-regulatory and agency regulatory lists.
For an in-depth, detailed description of the status determination process, see Chapter 2 of the PABS Procedural Manual.
Regulatory listing is the process by which the PGC, PFBC and DCNR — building on the independent and scientifically objective status determination process — use regulatory criteria (defined in rule or code and influenced by policy, cost/benefit comparisons, current protection profiles, population recoverability and other considerations) and an established procedure (specifying petition, documentation and public participation requirements, among other items) to classify and list species and other elements of biodiversity as Endangered, Threatened and “Near Threatened.”
Details on each agency's regulatory listing process will be given in Chapter 4 of the PABS Procedural Manual, to be completed in 2017.