A rare species is a group of organisms that are very uncommon or scarce. This designation may be applied to either a plant or animal taxon, and may be distinct from the term endangered or threatened species. Designation of a rare species may be made by an official body, such as a national government, state, or province. However, the term more commonly appears without reference to specific criteria. The IUCN does not normally make such designations, but may use the term in scientific discussion.