What We Do

Ecological Services

Ecological Services staff use the best available science and sound managerial techniques to further the Service's mission to conserve, protect, and enhance fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. In doing this, staff integrate their federal authorities with social, political, and economic realities to ensure sound resource decisions while recognizing the importance of a partnership approach addressing the needs of stakeholders, since the vast majority of fish and wildlife habitat is in private ownership. In addition, education and information dissemination are integral parts of all of our activities.

Listing and Critical Habitat

Through the Listing Program, the Service determines whether to add a species to the Federal list of endangered and threatened wildlife and plants. Listing affords a species the full range of protections available under the ESA, including prohibitions on killing, harming or otherwise "taking" a species.

Endangered Species Consultations with Federal Agencies

Section 7 Section 7
Section 7 Consultation The Endangered Species Act (ESA) directs all Federal agencies to work to conserve endangered and threatened species and to use their authorities to further the purposes of the Act. Section 7 of the Act, called "Interagency Cooperation," is the mechanism by which Federal agencies ensure the actions they take, including those they fund or authorize, do not jeopardize the existence of any listed species.

Learn more about Section 7
of the Endangered Species Act directs all federal agencies to use their existing authorities to conserve threatened and endangered species and, in consultation with the Service, to ensure that their actions do not jeopardize listed species or destroy or adversely modify critical habitat. Section 7 applies to management of federal lands as well as other federal actions that may affect listed species, such as the issuance of a federal permit or the federal funding of a project.

By contacting the Service early in the planning process, federal agencies such as the U.S Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Bureau of Reclamation can learn what actions will satisfy section 7 requirements, what actions can be taken to minimize adverse effects to listed species and therefore avoid delays or misunderstandings on their project.


Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program

The Partners for Fish and Wildlife (Partners) Program provides technical and financial assistance to private landowners and local partners interested in restoring, enhancing and managing fish and wildlife habitats on private property. The program operates on a voluntary basis, relying on interested landowners to provide opportunities for habitat improvements on their lands. Under a cooperative agreement, landowners agree to maintain the habitat improvement project for at least ten years, but otherwise retain full control of their land. For more information about the Partners for Fish and Wildlife, click here:


Management and Conservation

With offices in all 50 states, the Ecological Services Program is working with you to meet the challenge of conserving the nature of America.

When we protect species and habitats, we conserve the natural resources on which we all depend. We ensure that wetlands persist to protect us from storms and filter our water. We conserve for future generations a continued source of sustainable land. Wild things and wild places are part of our shared history. They are part of the natural foundation of the lands we call home.