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Endangered Species Program
Conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems
Listing a Species as Threatened or Endangered:
Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act
"Listing" is the process used to add plant or animal species to the federal list of endangered and threatened wildlife and plants; and then protect them under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The names of all species listed as threatened or endangered are included on the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (50 CFR 17.11) and the List of Endangered and Threatened Plants (50 CFR 17.12).
How Species are Identified for Possible Listing
There are two avenues through which a species may be listed under the ESA: through the petition process or through the candidate assessment process. Under the ESA, any interested person may petition the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Commerce (for most marine life) to add or remove a species from the endangered and threatened species lists. Through the candidate assessment process, Service biologists identify species as candidates for listing.
National Listing Work Plan
In July 2016, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced its final methodology for prioritizing pending Endangered Species Act (ESA) status reviews. Status reviews are the scientifically rigorous process the agency uses to determine whether a species warrants federal protection. The new methodology allows us to strategically address pending status reviews, to be more transparent in how we establish workload priorities, and to collaborate effectively with partners to conserve America's most imperiled plants and wildlife.
Last updated: March 19, 2018