We use the best scientific information available to determine whether to add a species to (list) or remove from (delist) the federal lists of endangered and threatened wildlife and plants. We also determine whether already listed species should be reclassified from threatened to endangered (uplist) or from endangered to threatened (downlist). All species, both foreign and domestic, may be considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act.

What We Do

Our Services

The listing, delisting, and reclassification process may begin when the public requests it (via a petition), or it may be initiated by a status review such as candidate assessment, five-year review, or discretionary review. The ESA provides that any interested person or organization may petition us to add a species to the list, remove it from the list, or reclassify its status on the list. Through the candidate assessment process, we identify species for which the best scientific and commercial data available indicate that a proposal for listing is appropriate.

Our Projects and Initiatives

In order to provide the best possible conservation for imperiled species across the nation and beyond, we developed a set of workplans for addressing species status decisions on domestic and foreign (non-U.S.) species over the next several years.  These workplans enable us to prioritize our workload based on species of greatest conservation need, while providing greater clarity and predictability about the timing of listing determinations.

Our Library

Whether you are looking for a specific document pertaining to listing and critical habitat, delisting, reclassification, section 4 of the ESA, or related guidance, you can find it here in our document library.