About the Endangered Species Program
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the lead federal agency for administering the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA), for land and freshwater species. The Endangered Species Program works to build and maintain partnerships, promote good science, and adopt an approach that integrates holistic management of land, water, wildlife, and plants for conservation.
The major programs or activities within the West Virginia Field Office's Endangered Species Program include candidate conservation and listing, recovery, and consultation. To promote the conservation and recovery of federally listed endangered and threatened species, the Service's endangered species responsibilities include the following:
- Identifying species that need protection. The Service is responsible for listing, reclassifying and delisting land and freshwater species under the ESA, based on an assessment of threats to the species and their habitats.
- Providing biological and regulatory technical assistance to federal agencies through ESA section 7 consultation.
- Providing biological and regulatory technical assistance to non-federal entities (individuals, organizations, companies and agencies) regarding activities that may affect listed species.
- Implementing and coordinating recovery activities for listed species.
- Working with private landowners to avoid and minimize impacts to listed species and to implement actions to benefit listed species.
- Enforcing protections for federally listed species, and tracking their progress towards recovery.
- Providing grants and technical assistance to states to assist with their conservation efforts benefitting species.
- Working in partnership with people who have an interest in the conservation and recovery of federally listed species.
- Evaluating the status of species to determine whether they qualify for listing under the ESA (candidate assessment).
- Implementing conservation actions to prevent the need to list additional species (candidate conservation).
The West Virginia Field Office is responsible for conserving federally listed threatened and endangered species that occur in the State of West Virginia. In addition, our office acts in the capacity of national species' lead for the Cheat Mountain salamander, Virginia big-eared bat, harperella herb, West Virginia northern flying squirrel, diamond darter, and flat-spired three-toothed land snail.