Section 4 of the ESA requires us to review the status of each federally-listed species every five years. Five-year reviews evaluate whether a federally listed species should be removed from the list, reclassified from endangered to threatened or vice versa, or if the species' classification should not change. Five-year reviews ensure that listed species have the appropriate level of protection under the ESA.
5-year reviews completed for species in Alaska:
The best available scientific data is considered for a five-year review, particularly information that has become available since the current listing determination or most recent status review. Such information includes but is not limited to:
- species biology (including population trends, distribution, abundance, demographics, and genetics);
- amount, distribution, and suitability of habitat;
- conservation measures that have been implemented that benefit the species;
- threat status and trends;
- other new information, data, or corrections including: changes in taxonomy or nomenclature, identification of erroneous information contained in the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; and improved analytical methods.
Five-Year Reviews assess: (1) whether new information suggests that the species is increasing, declining, or stable; (2) whether existing threats are increasing, unchanged, reduced, or eliminated; (3) if there are any new threats; and, (4) if new information calls into question any of the conclusions in the original listing determination as to the species' classification.
The five-year review provides a recommendation, with supporting information, on whether a species classification should be changed. However, it does not change the species' classification. A species classification cannot be changed until a formal rulemaking process is completed, including a public review and comment period.