Through the Listing Program, the Service determines whether to add a species and its critical habitat to the Federal lists of endangered and threatened wildlife and plants. Once listed, a species and its critical habitat are afforded the full range of protections available under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) including prohibitions on harm or killing (taking) an animal species. .
Click here for a complete list of all USFWS Listed Species.
The Service has developed a priority system designed to direct its efforts toward the plants and animals in greatest need of protection. The magnitude of the threat is the most important consideration, followed by the immediacy of the threat and the taxonomic distinctiveness of the species (Listing Priority Guidance). In some instances, species listing can be precluded by the development of Candidate Conservation Agreements which may remove threats facing the species. See the Candidate Conservation page for more information.
Credit: Jim Rorabaugh/USFWS
The goal of the ESA is to improve the status of listed species to the point where they no longer need the Act's protection. As endangered plant, fish and wildlife populations stabilize and begin to recover, conditions may be reached where the species may be sufficiently out of immediate danger of extinction to be reclassified as threatened. Also, the status of a threatened species may be improved to the point where the Act's protections are no longer needed. At this point a species may be removed from the lists of threatened and endangered species.
Click here for a complete list of all USFWS Recovery Plans.