A heritage species belongs to a group of protected species, threatened species (red list) and rare species, as well as (sometimes) species of scientific or symbolic interest.
The 'heritage species' status is not a legal status. A heritage species is a species that scientists and conservationists deem important in terms of heritage, whether for ecological, scientific or cultural reasons.
The mountain pasqueflower Pulsatilla montana is a Alpine heritage flower, even though it is not protected. © Denis Vailhé CC by-nc-sa 2.0