In order to recognize success in recovering species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), keep the lists of endangered and threatened wildlife and plant species accurate and up-to-date, and focus conservation resources on those species most in need, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reviews the status of listed species every five years, and responds to petitions received from the public to determine whether listed species should be reclassified from endangered to threatened (downlisted) or removed from the list (delisted). We developed a national workplan reflecting our schedule for actions addressing five-year status review recommendations and substantive petitions to downlist and delist species over the next three years.

The workplan was developed to provide greater clarity and predictability regarding the timing of eventual downlisting and delisting determinations to state wildlife agencies, non-profit organizations, and other stakeholders and partners.

The workplan primarily includes actions for species with:

  • a five-year status review that recommends that the species be downlisted or delisted (five-year reviews are a periodic assessment of the status of listed species and may recommend a status change, but status changes can only be carried out through our rulemaking process);
  • a petition to downlist or delist the species that has been found to contain substantial information, and for which we are undertaking a status review to determine whether the species' status should be changed; and
  • a proposed rule to downlist or delist the species that has been published, and for which we need to make a final determination.

A species' inclusion in this workplan does not mean that a final decision has been made to downlist or delist. That determination will follow a rigorous scientific assessment of the species' status to determine whether it meets the ESA definition of an endangered species or threatened species. Our rule-making process requires public comment and scientific peer review before any action is finalized. We may receive new information through public comment or peer review that affects our assessment of the species' status. Accordingly, we may need to revise or withdraw proposed rules to downlist or delist a species.

New Status Assessments

Anyone may submit information to us on any species at any time, and we may need to assess that new information before proceeding with rulemaking. We have substantial new information for several species that have five-year reviews recommending downlisting and delisting. We plan to conduct new status reviews for those species prior to initiating downlisting or delisting rulemakings for these species. If downlisting or delisting is still recommended after completion of new status reviews, we will add these species to the workplan.

Updating the Workplan

To keep the public informed of our progress in recovering species, we will periodically update this work plan to reflect our consideration of new information over time, new status reviews initiated as a result of petitions, and new recommendations resulting from our five-year reviews.

Contact Information


National Workplan to Address Downlisting and Delisting Recommendations

National Workplan to address downlisting and delisting recommendations for species protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) through fiscal year 2026.


Close up of a California condor. Its pink featherless head contrasts with its black feathers.
We provide national leadership in the recovery and conservation of our nation's imperiled plant and animal species, working with experts in the scientific community to identify species on the verge of extinction and to build the road to recovery to bring them back. We work with a range of public...
A duck flies over a tundra pond.
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...
Condor soars over mountain ridge.
We work with partners to conserve the ecosystems upon which endangered species and threatened species depend, developing and maintaining conservation programs for these species to improve their status to the point that Endangered Species Act protection is no longer necessary for survival. This...