We assess the conservation status of species, using the best scientific information available, and identify those that warrant listing as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. A species that we find warrants a proposal to list as endangered or threatened, but listing is precluded by higher priority listing activities, is referred to as a candidate species. Working with public and private partners, we develop and facilitate the use of voluntary conservation tools to address threats and improve habitat to eliminate the need for listing.

What We Do

Our Services

While candidate species receive no protection under the Endangered Species Act, one of our main goals is to encourage actions that will eliminate the need to list these species in the future. Toward that end, we provide technical assistance and leverage funding to support conservation of candidate and other at-risk species. Our program:

  • provides information to guide strategic approaches to ensure voluntary efforts occur where they are most needed and most likely to be effective in making listing unnecessary;
  • facilitates development and implementation of candidate conservation agreements and candidate conservation agreements with assurances; and
  • leverages resources by facilitating funding for landowners to engage in voluntary conservation.

Our Projects and Initiatives

We identify candidates for listing and provide conservation recommendations that can remove or reduce threats so that listing becomes unnecessary. This process emphasizes coordination with states and other partners to obtain the best available information on species status and recommendations for conservation. It also provides the foundation for planning and implementing voluntary conservation efforts that are most likely to be effective in improving the status of the species.

Our Library

Search our library for information on candidate species and tools for conservation partnerships.