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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Division of Ecological Services
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E-Mail: Tom_Magnuson@fws.gov

Imperiled Ecosystems | Invasive Species | Water-Related Issuesfor design only
Emerging Issues | Great Lakes-Big Rivers Region Priority Species

Great Lakes-Big Rivers Region Priority Species

Conservationists are far from able to support the needs of all species. Resources available for fish and wildlife conservation are invariably in short supply relative to the needs of those species. How can the Service support the needs of those species in greatest need of conservation attention? By focusing conservation and management actions toward those species and ecosystems in greatest need, and where opportunities for success are greatest, through clear, established priorities. Setting priorities is an essential prerequisite for effective conservation of species and ecosystems.

In 1997, a group of Region 3 employees was brought together to address the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA). GPRA was enacted by Congress in 1993 to promote a new focus on improving program performance and to provide greater accountability for results within the federal government. GPRA requires the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) to identify the most important functions that it performs and to direct its fiscal resources toward those functions. It was immediately apparent to the group of Service employees that GPRA implementation in Region 3 must be based on Service priorities. However, except for broad direction provided by policy and law, no such guidance was available at the time.

Photo of a barn owl - Photo credit:  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / C.F. Zeillemaker
Barn Owl

for design only

Photo of a Karner blue butterfly - Photo credit:  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / John and Karen Hollingsworth
Karner blue butterfly

for design only

Painting of coaster brook trout - Credit:  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Coaster brook trout

for design only

Photo of a dwarf lake iris - Photo credit:  Clayton Alway @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database
Dwarf lake iris

After considerable study and debate, the group produced a list of 243 Regional Resource Conservation Priorities considered to be those species in most need of immediate conservation attention under the Service's full span of authorities. While many species important to the Service are not included on the list, identifying priority species acknowledges that when the Region is faced with the choice of addressing the needs of several species, the Region would place its limited resources on those species identified as priorities from a regional perspective.

To download more information in an Adobe pdf file, please click this link: This link opens in a new windowFish & Wildlife Resource Conservation Priorities – Region 3 (508 KB).

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Last updated: September 24, 2012