Featured Species

Federally Listed, Proposed, and Candidate Species in New York State

As the principal federal partner responsible for administering the Endangered Species Act (ESA), we take the lead in recovering and conserving our Nation's imperiled species by fostering partnerships, employing scientific excellence, and developing a workforce of conservation leaders.

As we work in partnership with others, our two major goals are to:

  1. Protect endangered and threatened species, and then pursue their recovery; and 
  2. Conserve candidate species and species-at-risk so that listing under the ESA is not necessary.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s endangered species responsibilities include the following:

  • Listing, reclassifying, and delisting under the ESA
  • Providing information and biological opinions (through the Project Reviews process) to federal agencies on their activities that may affect listed species
  • Enforcing species protection under the Act
  • Overseeing recovery activities for listed species
  • Providing for the protection of important habitat
  • Providing assistance to states and others to assist with their endangered species conservation efforts

For definitions and details on the meaning behind species listing statuses, follow the links below:

Quicklinks (external links noted with icon):

Atlantic sturgeon:
NYSDEC Atlantic sturgeon information
Federal register notice

Bald eagle: 
NYSDEC management
Protection of eagles, definition of disturb

Black rail:
Federal Register Final 404d Rule

Bog turtle:
NEPARC Disinfection of Field Equipment to Minimize Risk of Spread of Chytridiomycosis and Ranavirus
NYDEC Fact Sheet
Natural Resource Conservation Service's soil maps
U.S. EPA Wetlands
State of Connecticut Bog Turtle Fact Sheet
State of New Jersey Bog Turtle Fact Sheet

Dwarf wedgemussel: 
NYSDEC information
USFWS fact sheet
Mussel survey guidance (for any mussels)

Eastern massassauga:
NYSDEC Website
Survey Protocol
Fact Sheet 

Frosted elfin:
Species Assessment

Mussel survey guidance (for any mussels)

New England Cottontail:
FWS fact sheet

Northeastern bulrush:
Rediscovered in New York 2010

Northern long-eared bat:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reclassifies northern long-eared bat as Endangered under the Endangered Species Act
Winter hibernacula locations (1-mile buffer for initial screening)
Towns with maternity roosts

Piping plover:
Great Lakes Piping Plover
Lake Ontario Piping Plover

Roseate Tern:
5-year review initiated

Rusty-patched bumble bee: 
Note: We are unaware of any current locations of this species in NY and there are no requirements to survey or consider this species during project reviews at this time. If you are interested in conducting surveys for this species or interested in pollinator conservation in general, please contact our office.

Shortnose sturgeon:
NOAA Shortnose sturgeon information

Full species list: 

Leedy's roseroot is a cliffside wildflower, found today in only seven locations in three states. Four populations are found in Fillmore and Olmsted Counties, Minnesota. Two are in upstate New York, a large population on the shores of Seneca Lake and a single plant at Watkins Glen. In South Dakota...
FWS Focus

Northeastern bulrush, first described as a new species by A.E. Schuyler in 1962, is a leafy, perennial herb approximately 80-120 centimeters in height. The lowermost leaves are up to 8 millimeters (mm) wide and 40-60 times as long as wide, while the uppermost leaves are 3-5 mm wide and 30-50...

FWS Focus
A bright orange stem, with five leaves and a flower emerging from the leaf-covered forest floor

The small whorled pogonia is a member of the orchid family. The plant is named for the whorl of five or six leaves near the top of the stem and beneath the flower. The species is listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. 

FWS Focus
This plant is 8 to 40 inches tall and has an upright leafy stem with a flower cluster called an inflorescence. The 3 to 8 inch lance-shaped leaves sheath the stem. Each plant has one single flower spike composed of 5 to 40 white flowers. Each flower has a three-part fringed lip less than 1 inch...
FWS Focus
Swamp Pink

Swamp pink has smooth, oblong, dark green leaves that form an evergreen rosette. In spring, some rosettes produce a flowering stalk that can grow over 3 feet tall. The stalk is topped by a 1 to 3-inch-long cluster of 30 to 50 small, fragrant, pink flowers dotted with pale blue anthers. The...

FWS Focus

The bog buck moth occurs in groundwater-fed wetlands in Oswego County, New York, and Ontario, Canada, with large amounts of bog buckbean (a plant that is a key food source, or “host plant” for bog buck moth larvae, much as milkweed is a host plant for monarch butterfly larvae).

Silvery brown butterfly perched on a stem

The frosted elfin was originally described as Polyommatus irus by Jean-Baptiste Godart in 1824, (Johnson 1991, p. 153). The current name is Callophrys irus, and it was previously assigned to the genus Incisalia (Scudder). The similar looking Henry’s elfin (C. henrici) was not described until...

FWS Focus
Small butterfly rests on flower stalk with wings open.

The Karner blue butterfly was first described more than a century ago in Karner, New York. It is a small butterfly, with a wingspan of about one inch. The male's wings are distinctively marked with a silvery or dark blue color. The female is grayish brown, especially on the outer portions of the...

FWS Focus
A monarch butterfly on a yellow flower

Adult monarch butterflies are large and conspicuous, with bright orange wings surrounded by a black border and covered with black veins. The black border has a double row of white spots, present on the upper side of the wings. Adult monarchs are sexually dimorphic, with males having narrower...

FWS Focus
A rusty patched bumble bee visits a wild bergamot flower

Historically, the rusty patched bumble bee was broadly distributed across the eastern United States, Upper Midwest, and southern Quebec and Ontario in Canada. Since 2000, this bumble bee has been reported from only 13 states and 1 Canadian province: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland,...

FWS Focus
A clubshell mussel in the water

The clubshell is a small to medium size (up to 3 inches long) freshwater mussel that was listed as endangered, without critical habitat, in 1993 (58 FR 5638-5642). Its shell exterior is yellow to brown with bright green blotchy rays and shell interior is typically white. The shell is wedge...

FWS Focus
Mussel resting on gravel

In 1831, Isaac Lea described the longsolid, a medium-sized mussel, up to five inches long, which potentially live up to 50 years.  It is found in small streams to large rivers, and prefers a mixture of sand, gravel, and cobble substrates.

The mussel is found in Alabama, Kentucky,...

FWS Focus
The rayed bean is a small mussel, usually less than 1.5 inches (in) (3.8 centimeters (cm)) in length (Cummings and Mayer 1992, p. 142; Parmalee and Bogan 1998, p. 244; West et al. 2000, p. 248). The shell outline is elongate or ovate in males and elliptical in females, and moderately inflated in...
FWS Focus
A group of about ten mussels being held partially out of the water by a pair of cupped hands

The northern riffleshell is a small to medium size (up to 3 inches long) freshwater mussel that was listed as endangered, without critical habitat, in 1993 (58 FR 5638-5642). Its shell exterior is brownish yellow to yellowish green with fine green rays. The shell interior is typically white. The...

The round hickorynut mussel is a wide-ranging species, historically known from 12 states, though now occurs in nine, as well as the Canadaian Province of Ontario.  It is currently found in five major basins: Great Lakes, Ohio (where it is most prevalent), Cumberland, Tennessee, and Lower...

FWS Focus
Bald eagle up close with wing raised

A large raptor, the bald eagle has a wingspread of about seven feet. Adults have a dark brown body and wings, white head and tail, and a yellow beak. Juveniles are mostly brown with white mottling on the body, tail, and undersides of wings. Adult plumage usually is obtained by the sixth year. In...

FWS Focus
Adult Black Rails are small blackish marshbirds with a black bill which are difficult to see. Juveniles are similar to adults, but are duller and have less distinct spotting and streaking.

References cited in Species Profile

Cornell Lab of Ornithology. 2015. Black Rail. All...
FWS Focus
Grey, white and black bird on sand in the foreground

Size: 18 cm (7.25 in) in length. Color: Breeding season: Pale brown above, lighter below; black band across forehead; bill orange with black tip; legs orange; white rump. Male: Complete or incomplete black band encircles the body at the breast. Female: Paler head band; incomplete breast band....

FWS Focus
A group of juvenile and adult red knot forage along the shoreline.

Length: 25-28 cm. Adults in spring: Above finely mottled with grays, black and light ochre, running into stripes on crown; throat, breast and sides of head cinnamon-brown; dark gray line through eye; abdomen and undertail coverts white; uppertail coverts white, barred with black. Adults in...

FWS Focus
A small white bird with light grey wings, orange legs and a black cap

The roseate tern is about 40 centimeters in length, with light-gray wings and back. Its first three or four primaries are black and so is its cap. The rest of the body is white, with a rosy tinge on the chest and belly during the breeding season. The tail is deeply forked, and the outermost...

FWS Focus
Eastern massasauga rattlesnake

Massasaugas are small snakes with thick bodies, heart-shaped heads and vertical pupils. The average length of an adult is about 2 feet. Adult massasaugas are gray or light brown with large, light-edged chocolate brown blotches on the back and smaller blotches on the sides. The snake's belly is...

FWS Focus
Cluster of roosting bats.

The Indiana bat is a medium-sized Myotis, closely resembling the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) but differing in coloration. Its fur is a dull grayish chestnut rather than bronze, with the basal portion of the hairs on the back a dull-lead color. This bat's underparts are pinkish to...

FWS Focus
Brown and gray rabbit hides in the grass

The New England cottontail (Sylvilagus transitionalis) is a medium-large sized cottontail rabbit that may reach 1,000 grams (2.2 pounds) in weight. Sometimes called the gray rabbit, brush rabbit, wood hare or cooney, it can usually be distinguished from the sympatric eastern cottontail and...

FWS Focus