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About Us | Frequently Asked Questions
Following are some answers to other questions we are often asked about the endangered species program. If you cannot find your question below, feel free to contact us if you are still in need of help.
What is the difference between an endangered species and a threatened species?
In simple terms, endangered species are at the brink of extinction now. Threatened species are likely to be at the brink in the near future. All of the protections of the Act are provided to endangered species. Many, but not all, of those protections also are available to threatened species. However, the Service has the authority to determine which protections should apply to each threatened species; in other words, we can select and fine tune the protections that best meet the species’ recovery needs. More information can be found in this document. [91KB]
What is the process for listing a species as threatened or endangered?
A species can be listed under the Endangered Species Act two different ways: through the petition process or through the candidate assessment process. The ESA provides that any interested person may petition the Secretary of the Interior to add a species to, or to remove a species from, the list of endangered and threatened species. Through the candidate assessment process, FWS biologists identify species as listing candidates.
Species are listed with various status codes. What do the different codes mean?
Learn more about listing status codes, including a brief description for each.
What do I do about injured wildlife?
Most wildlife issues are best addressed by your state wildlife agency. Issues regarding domesticated animals are handled by your local animal control office or local animal shelter. Injured or orphaned migratory birds (including songbirds) are under the jurisdiction of the Service, as are all federally-listed species. Your local field office can put you in touch with a bird rehabilitator in your area or address law enforcement issues.
Where can I report suspected illegal activities concerning endangered species?
The USFWS Office of Law Enforcement focuses on potentially devastating threats to wildlife resources - including breaking up international and domestic smuggling rings that target imperiled animals, preventing the unlawful commercial exploitation of protected U. S. species, and inspecting wildlife shipments to ensure compliance with laws and treaties and detect illegal trade.
How can I get help near me?
To obtain local information or assistance regarding endangered species related issues, contact your nearest USFWS Field Office.
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