Endangered Species
Ecological Services
Homepage banner

Listing Workplan Overview

In an effort to improve implementation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) submitted to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, a multi-year listing work plan that will enable the agency to systematically, over a period of six years, review and address the needs of more than 250 species listed in the 2010 Candidate Notice of Review, to determine if they should be added to the federal list of endangered and threatened species.

The Columbia spotted frog is currently a candidate species for listing under the Endangered Species Act.  Credit: USFWS

The Columbia spotted frog is currently a candidate species for listing under the Endangered Species Act.

The multi-year listing work plan was first developed through an agreement with the plaintiff group WildEarth Guardians and filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on May 10, 2011. On July 12, 2011, the Service reached an agreement with plaintiff group Center for Biological Diversity that reinforces the multi-year work plan. This complimentary agreement includes additional scheduling commitments for a small subset of the actions in the work plan that is consistent with the Services objectives and biological priorities. These historic agreements were approved by Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington, D.C. on September 9, 2011, and will allow the Service to more effectively focus our efforts on providing the benefits of the ESA to those imperiled species most in need of protection.

The priority of the Service is to make ESA implementation less complex, less contentious, and more effective. The listing work plan allows the agency to make administration of the ESA more effective and efficient by enabling the Service to prioritize its workload based on the needs of candidate species, while also providing state wildlife agencies, stakeholders, and other partners clarity and certainty about the timing of listing determinations.

Ensuring the continued protection and recovery of endangered and threatened species requires that the ESA be implemented in a manner that is responsive to both the needs of imperiled species and the concerns of citizens. The Service has developed a variety of tools and programs to help landowners fashion a conservation strategy for listed and candidate species that is consistent with their land management objectives and needs. These tools include Habitat Conservation Plans and Candidate Conservation Agreements that provide regulatory assurance; technical assistance; programs that provide landowners with recovery credits and tax deductions under certain circumstances; and a grants program that funds conservation projects by private landowners, states, and territories.

As we continue to improve ESA implementation, the Service will actively engage conservation partners and the public in the search for improved and innovative ways to conserve and recover imperiled species. By taking action to protect imperiled native plants and animals, together we can ensure a healthy future for our community and protect treasured landscapes for future generations.

View the Listing Workplan Schedule for Fiscal Years 2013-2018

Learn more about the 2010 CNOR species included in our work plan, including which ones are located in your state

Get answers to frequently asked questions on Strengthening the Listing Program Work Plan (July 12, 2011) [37KB]

Download the Candidate Species fact sheet

Download the Listing fact sheet


Last updated: May 15, 2015