About this Collection

This library contains a brief overview of recovery planning documents in the southeast and access to recently released documents.

Working with partners, the Service uses a range of conservation tools to recover threatened and endangered species to ensure that they are able to survive on their own in the wild. These tools can include acquiring and restoring habitat, removing invasive species invasive species
An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.

Learn more about invasive species
, conducting surveys, monitoring individual populations, and breeding species in captivity to release them into their historic range. To inform this work the Service develops many planning documents. 

Recovery Planning Documents 

The main documents related to recovery planning include: 

  • Recovery Outline 

  • Draft Recovery Plan 

  • Final Recovery Plan 

Additional recovery planning documents may include: 

  • Recovery Implementation Strategy 

  • Captive Propagation and Reintroduction Plans 

  • Species Status Assessments 

Recovery Outlines 

Although recovery outlines are not statutorily required, national guidance states that they are to be prepared within 30-days of publication of the final listing rule.  They are relatively general in nature focusing on a vision and strategy of species recovery and based on information found in the listing rule. 

Recovery Plans  

Under section 4(f)(1) of the Act, the Service shall develop and implement recovery plans for the conservation and survival of listed species. These plans will incorporate a description of necessary site-specific management actions, objective and measurable criteria, and estimates of time and costs to carry out those measures. Recovery plans describe those overarching actions needed to recover the species while the accompanying Recovery Implementation Strategy (RIS), described below, will define in depth what actions are needed and how those actions will be accomplished and measured. 

Recovery Implementation Strategies 

The RIS is a short-term, flexible operational document focused on how, when, and with whom the recovery actions will be implemented. Including the activities and how they are implemented in this separate “stepped-down” document allows us to be able to adapt to changing circumstances and thus have a more flexible recovery strategy. 

Captive Propagation and Reintroduction Plans 

Captive propagation may be used to prevent the extinction of listed species, subspecies or populations, conduct recovery related research, maintain genetic vigor and demographic diversity, maintain refugia populations, provide plants/animals for reintroduction or augmentation, conserve species of populations at risk of imminent extinction or extirpation. The captive propagation policy includes information that details that the propagation and reintroduction efforts: 

  •  consider if the activity is prudent,  

  • is coordinated with conservation actions and other recovery measures, 

  • based on recommendations of recovery strategies in recovery plans, RISs or other documents,  

  • considers potential ecological and genetic effects of removal of individuals from the wild and introducing individuals into the wild,  

  • based on sounds scientific principles to conserve genetic variation and species integrity, 

  • preceded, when practical, by a genetics management plan. 

A Reintroduction Plan must be developed (as part of another plan or as a standalone document) prior to the release of propagated individuals. 

The Service’s current Policy Regarding Controlled Propagation of Species Listed Under the Endangered Species Act can be found in the Federal Register at 65 FR 56916. 

Species Status Assessments 

A Species Status Assessment includes a compilation of the best available information on the species (taxonomy, life history, and habitat) and its ecological needs at the individual, population, and/or species levels based on how environmental factors are understood to act on the species and its habitat. The assessment also includes the current condition of the species’ habitat and demographics and forecasts the species’ response to probable future scenarios of environmental conditions and conservation efforts. The SSA’s format is structured around the conservation biology principles of the 3Rs – Resiliency, Representation and Redundancy. 

Ways to find more information