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Ranking Wildlife Habitat

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) ranks habitat based on its potential benefit to wildlife or the presence of certain wildlife species.  NJDSEP habitat rankings range from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest priority habitat.  Habitat ranking descriptions are as follows:

  • Rank 1 is the lowest ranking and identifies areas that are generally suitable as wildlife habitat.  Things considered are size of the habitat.  Rank 1 areas do not have any confirmed occurrences of endangered, threatened or priority wildlife species.
  • Rank 2 are habitats that have one or more occurrences of a New Jersey Special Concern species.  A listing of those species may be found by clicking here - follow the PDF link.
  • Rank 3 are habitats that have one or more occurrences of at least one New Jersey Threatened species.  A listing of those species may be found by clicking here.
  • Rank 4 are habitats that have one or more occurrences of at least one New Jersey Endangered species.  A listing of those species may be found by clicking here.
  • Rank 5 is the highest ranking and identifies areas that contain at least one Federally Endangered or Threatened wildlife species.  A listing of those species may be found by clicking here.

To learn more about NJDEP habitat rankings and New Jersey's wildlife please visit the Endangered and Nongame Species website of the NJDEP.  The Landscape Project programm provides additional information on habitat rankings and habitats in New Jersey.  There is also information on this site for reporting rare wildlife to the NJDEP.  It is easier to help preserve a species if we know where it lives.