5 Year Review
A 5-year review of a listed species is required by section 4(c)(2) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and considers all new available information concerning the population status of the species and the threats that affect it. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) conducts these periodic reviews to ensure the listing classification of a species as threatened or endangered is accurate. A review considers the best scientific and commercial information that has become available since the original listing determination or last review, such as: species biology, habitat conditions, conservation measures, threat status and trends, and any other new information. The Service publishes a notice in the Federal Register announcing the initiation of these reviews and provides the public an opportunity to submit relevant information regarding the species and its threats.
A 5-year review is intended to indicate whether a change in a species listing classification is warranted. Changes in classification recommended in a 5-year review could include delisting, reclassification from threatened to endangered (i.e., uplisting), reclassification from endangered to threatened (i.e., downlisting), or no change is warranted at this time. The 5-year review does not involve rule-making, so no change to a species classification is made at the time a review is completed. If a change is recommended in the completed review, the Service would need to initiate a separate rule-making process to propose the change.
The ESA defines the term “endangered species” to mean any species that is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. The term “threatened species” means any species that is at risk of becoming endangered within the foreseeable future, throughout all or a significant portion of its range. In referring to these definitions, the Service determines whether a species is endangered or threatened based on one or more of the following five factors as outlined under section 4(a)(1) of the ESA:
(a) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of a species habitat or range;
(b) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes;
(c) Disease or predation;
(d) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or
(e) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence.