Five-year Reviews for Federally Listed Species
What is a five-year review?
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is required under section 4(c) (2) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act) to conduct reviews of each federally listed species These five-year reviews are conducted to determine if a federally listed species should be delisted, reclassified from endangered to threatened status or from threatened to endangered status, or status of the species should remain the same.
The purpose of a five-year review is to ensure that listed species have the appropriate level of protection under the Act.
Our progress to date?
The Southeast Region has lead responsibility for over 300 federally listed species. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2005, we actively initiated five-year reviews for greater than one fifth or 79 of our species. In FY 2006, we initiated reviews for 70 of our species. In FY 2007, we initiated reviews for about 60 of our species. In FY 2008, we initiated reviews for 38 of our species. In FY 2009, we will also be initiating over 30 reviews. Please see the Federal Register notices for all of the Southeast Region’s five-year reviews that were initiated in FY 2005, FY 2006, FY 2007, FY 2008 and FY 2009
These reviews in general will take approximately one year to complete. Some reviews may take longer based on several reasons including extra coordination required between multiple parties or a wide ranging species that may have extensive information available and requiring review.
The Southeast Region is actively working on five-year reviews and scheduling five-year reviews for our remaining lead listed species. We anticipate initiating more reviews for listed species in FY 2010. As Federal Register notices get published, we will update this website.
The Southeast Region has completed some five-year reviews. Please view completed five-year reviews by the Southeast Region. We will continue to update this website as more reviews are completed.
What is involved in a five-year review?
A five-year review will consider the best scientific available data regarding the species, particularly any information that has become available since the current listing determination or most recent status review of the species. Such information includes:
- species biology including, but not limited to, population trends, distribution, abundance, and demographics, and genetics;
- habitat conditions including, but not limited to, amount, distribution, and suitability;
- conservation measures that have been implemented that benefit the species;
- threat status and trends;
- other new information, data, or corrections including but not limited to changes in taxonomy or nomenclature, identification of erroneous information contained in the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; and improved analytical methods.
The review will assess: (1) whether new information suggests that the species is increasing, declining, or stable; (2) whether existing threats are increasing, unchanged, reduced, or eliminated; (3) if there are any new threats; and, (4) if any new information or analysis calls into question any of the conclusions in the original listing determination as to the species= classification.
The five-year review simply outlines recommendations about whether or not to change the species classification, thus indicating that a rulemaking is necessary. A species classification cannot be changed until the formal rulemaking process, which includes a public review and comment period, is complete.
Have 5-year reviews been completed in the past?
Five-year reviews are required under the ESA and have been completed by the Service in the past, but because of budget constraints, higher priority workload issues, and the other requirements of the ESA, the Service has not, until recently, been able to complete more recent five-year reviews as expeditiously as we would like.
Assessments of listed species status, however, are also accomplished as part of recovery planning and implementation efforts, our consultation process with other Federal agencies under section 7 of the ESA, our permitting program under section 10 of the ESA, our petition process under section 4 of the ESA, and other activities related to listed species.
Under the ESA, our responsibilities involving species assessment include:
- Section 4(f)(3) of the ESA requires us to report every two years to Congress on the status of efforts to develop and implement recovery plans for all listed species, and on the status of all species for which recovery plans have been developed;
- We annually assess the status of each listed species as a measure of our progress in achieving our goals under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (31 U.S.C. 1115).