Candidate Conservation
Southeast Region
Map of the Southeast Region Map of Kentucky Map of the Caribbean and Navassa Map of North Carolina Map of Tennessee Map of South Carolina Map of Arkansas Map of Louisiana Map of Mississippi Map of Alabama Map of Georgia Map of Florida

Conserving At-Risk Species

“In the next 10 years, the Southeast Region will have to evaluate a record number of fish, wildlife and plant species for possible listing as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. Our goal is to conserve them in voluntary and innovative ways for future generations of Americans.”

~ Cindy Dohner, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Regional Director

The Southeast Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is implementing a conservation strategy to prevent the extinction of more than 400 fish, wildlife and plant species in a 10-state area, as well as Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.



Work with public and private partners to proactively conserve as many of these at-risk species as possible over the next decade, and hopefully prevent the need to list them under the Endangered Species Act.


WHAT is an at-risk species?

Biologists commonly refer to species as “at-risk” if they face possible extinction, or extirpation from a geographic area.

For the purposes of this conservation strategy, the Service’s Southeast Region has defined “at-risk species” as those species that have either been proposed for listing, are candidates for listing, or have been petitioned for listing.


HOW will we achieve our goal?

We are working in five action areas:

  • Prioritizing Species in Need of Conservation. We are working closely with the States and other partners to evaluate species based on their conservation needs and potential for success.

  • Voluntary Conservation Actions. To make it easier and beneficial for partners to do more to safeguard declining species, we are working to improve the tools available.

  • Partnerships. We are working with a variety of organizations including the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the Southeast Regional Partnership for Planning and Sustainability, as well as individual partners, to support their efforts to conserve at-risk species.

  • Collecting Data. We are evaluating FWS’s data systems to ensure they are integrated and useful to help us make the smartest conservation decisions.

  • Outreach. We are engaging interested partners to join the effort to conserve at-risk species.



The Southeast Region is faced with evaluating whether to list and place under Federal protection more than 400 at-risk species as a result of national, multi-district litigation and a mega-petition brought by conservation groups.



To learn more about our efforts to conserve fish, wildlife and plant species, and the land and waters they inhabit, please contact Mike Harris, At-Risk Species Coordinator at, or the Ecological Field Office in your state.

Subscribe to the Southeast Region’s listserve to receive monthly updates related to conservation activities, including information about the searchable database for at-risk species.



USFWS is working with the State of Georgia and Georgia Power on proactive, voluntary conservation for the robust redhorse, a fish once thought to be extinct. Watch our video below and download the transcript.



Bartram's hairstreak
A Bartram's hairstreak butterfly on Big Pine Key in Florida. Photo: Holly L. Salvato.

Map of candidate and petitioned species by watershed
Map by NatureServe. Click image to view full size. Click here to download accompanying spreadsheet of records.


Last updated: June 23, 2014