In order to provide the best possible conservation for our nation's imperiled species, we developed a National Listing Workplan (Workplan) for addressing domestic listing and critical habitat decisions under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (Service) priority is to implement and administer the ESA effectively and efficiently. The Workplan enables us to prioritize our workload based on the needs of candidate and petitioned species, while providing greater clarity and predictability about the timing of listing determinations to state wildlife agencies, non-profit organizations, and other diverse stakeholders and partners, with the goal of encouraging proactive conservation so that federal protections are not needed in the first place. The Workplan represents the Service’s conservation priorities based on our review of scientific information.

A species' inclusion in the Workplan does not mean it is going to be listed as endangered or threatened under the ESA. That determination would be made following a rigorous scientific assessment of the species' status to determine whether it meets the definition of an endangered or threatened species. If we determine the species warrants listing, we would need to undertake the appropriate rule-making process before a species receives protections under the ESA. Our rule-making process requires public comment and scientific peer review before any action is finalized.

If a petitioned species warrants protections under the ESA, we will seek to issue a listing proposal, rather than adding the species to the candidate list, and will endeavor to simultaneously propose critical habitat designations. Following a proposed rule, the Service plans to issue final rules within statutory deadlines.

Updating the Workplan

The Service updated our National Listing Workplan to reflect our plan of work for fiscal years 2022–2027.

The Workplan is updated regularly to reflect our consideration of new information over time. As we work through the actions on the Workplan, we add new species to forecast priorities and upcoming status reviews a minimum of five years out. Providing this predictability and transparency to stakeholders creates opportunity for proactive conservation efforts that conserve species without needing the ESA's safety net.

The Workplan is designed to provide predictability to our stakeholders and partners; however, adjustments are needed over time to incorporate new work obligations and information. Such adjustments are made with the following in mind:

  • Our intent is to always provide the public with a projection of our workload for a minimum of five years into the future.

  • Species with new "substantial" 90-day findings will be assigned a bin number (in coordination with states and others with relevant information) according to our methodology for prioritizing 12-month findings.

  • Critically imperiled species (Bin 1) will be incorporated into the Workplan as soon as possible.

  • Remaining species will be incorporated into the Workplan according to their bin number, if feasible, or added to the back end of the Workplan if not.

This updated workplan responds to changing circumstances regarding a larger number of proposed rules that are awaiting final determinations. Because these actions reflect species for which we have already determined that listing is warranted, they are a higher priority than starting status reviews on new species. As a result, we have scaled back the number of new starts for FY2022 to focus first on making final determinations for species proposed for listing in previous years. The revised workplan reflects delays in many actions due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on our workforce (including effects to childcare, elder care, and illness) as well as other unanticipated life events such as illness, retirements, and personnel changes that affected our workforce.

In addition, some of the efforts planned for Bin 3 (new science) and Bin 4 (conservation efforts) species were delayed because of the inability to conduct field activities due to the pandemic. Therefore, some species may be delayed by one to two years given that the science or conservation efforts we assumed would be done at a certain time point to inform our analysis have not yet been completed.

After using FY2022 to catch up on previous years actions, we plan to do new 12-month findings (with proposed listings if warranted and proposed critical habitat if prudent and determinable) for roughly 50 species per year.

The stepdown FY2022 workplan shows the 104 actions we plan to complete this fiscal year.

The FY2022–2027 Workplan provides the public with information on the 310 species we anticipate completing a 12-month finding, stand-alone critical habitat rule, or court-ordered action on for those fiscal years. The below table outlines the number of species for which we will complete an action according to the FY2022–2027 Workplan.

Fiscal Year 

Number of Species 

FY22 

27 

FY23 

64 

FY24 

53 

FY25 

75 

FY26 

53 

FY27 

38 

Contact Information

Documents

national-domestic-listing-workplan_0

In order to provide the best possible conservation for our nation's imperiled species, we developed a National Listing Workplan for addressing Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing and critical habitat decisions for fiscal years 2022-2027.

domestic-listing-workload-2022

This document outlines the Service's domestic species listing workload for fiscal year 2022.

Programs

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...
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...