USFWS Line Art by Robert Savannah
USFWS Listing Priority Guidance:
- The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service has developed a priority system designed to direct its efforts towards the plants and animals in greatest need of protection.
- The magnitude of threat is the most important consideration, followed by the immediacy of the threat and the taxonomic distinctiveness of the species (the most distinctive is a monotypic genus, then a full species, and lastly a subspecies, variety, or vertebrate population).
- In an effort to continue to address the needs of species facing the greatest threats, the new priority guidance establishes the following priorities for listing endangered species:
- Priority One: Emergency listings for species facing a significant risk to their well-being.
- Priority Two: Final decisions on pending proposed listings.
- Priority Three: Determining whether candidate species should be listed.
- Priority Four: Findings on petitions to add species to the list and petitions to delist or reclassify species.
- Critical habitat actions such as determining whether it is prudent to designate critical habitat, proposing to designate critical habitat, and making final designations of critical habitat will no longer fall under this guidance. The Service expects to complete a number of critical habitat actions during FY 2000 which will be funded separately from other listing actions.