does recovery mean related to threatened or endangered species?
When a person is injured or has surgery, they often consult with
doctors or other experts to develop a plan that will return them
to full health and keep them from getting injured again. The U.
S. Fish and Wildlife (Service) uses the word "recovery" in a similar
way. A "recovery plan" determines the "threats" that are hurting
the species, suggests actions that will reduce or eliminate these
threats so species can fully recover, and recommends ways to ensure
that the population remains stable.
The goal of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is to conserve
the ecosystems upon which listed species depend and to recover
species to levels where protection under the ESA is no longer
necessary. Section 4 of the ESA directs the Service to develop
recovery plans for the conservation and survival of a listed species.
Revised Recovery Plan (5.7 MB PDF) takes a new approach
to reversing declines in Mojave desert tortoise populations
through a coordinated effort of science-based implementation
and evaluation of conservation actions.
This revised recovery strategy is a reflection of years of hard work by multiple
stakeholders and recognizes the need to modify recovery efforts
of the desert tortoise to accommodate changing management
needs. The ability to conserve the Mojave population of desert
tortoise and lead to eventual recovery of this threatened species
depends on science and innovation. Finding a strategy that works
alongside renewable energy development, for example, requires
a plan that can incorporate new information and ideas.
The revised Plan recognizes the need to adjust to
the accelerating pace of environmental change and its impact on
key resource management issues, such as corridors and connectivity.
The Plan will be a living document that advances a natural resource
management model where ongoing detection of changes and attribution
of causes will provide the basic information on whether or not
the desert tortoise or its ecosystem is changing beyond natural
By continuous examination of vulnerability, exposure, sensitivity,
and adaptive capacity of the desert tortoise to environmental
change, resource managers will be able to update the Plan as it
is being implemented with conservation
March 8, 2013cover. For example, to address the recent
impact of renewable energy on recovery of the desert tortoise,
the Service will be adding a chapter to the Plan that focuses
on measures related to renewable energy projects. The chapter
will make clear what recovery implementation will look like in
light of renewable energy development and will provide specific
recommendations to ensure recovery and continued habitat connectivity.
Under the Plan, Regional recovery implementation teams will bring
together partners from land management, scientific, conservation,
and land-use groups to work with the Service to implement, track
and evaluate recovery actions. To help teams apply the best available
science, the Service has developed a system that explicitly describes
the current understanding of what threatens tortoise populations
and how recovery actions are predicted to reduce those threats.
The system tracks where those actions will have the greatest benefits
and where conservation actions have occurred. Teams can compare
the performance of on-the-ground actions with what was expected
to inform future decisions, and change the course of action