Candidate Conservation
Southeast Region
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Distinctions Between Candidate Conservation Agreements (CCAs) and Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances (CCAAs)

Candidate Conservation Agreements (CCAs)

CCAs foster cooperation and exchange of ideas among multiple parties interested in common goals for conserving fish, wildlife and their habitats. These agreements can between the Service and any other public or private entity, including another Federal agency. The degree of detail in the agreements can vary widely. The species covered in the agreement do not have to be candidates for the Endangered Species list, but they should be considered at-risk for listing. For example, they could be State-listed species, imperiled species, or species of concern.

If the species covered in the CCA does have to be listed under the ESA, the Service provides no assurances or waivers regarding regulations that may be required as a result.


Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances (CCAAs)

CCAAs are similar to CCAs, but they also provide incentives – in the form of a permit – to non-Federal property owners who engage in voluntary conservation activities for a particular species. If the species has to be listed under the ESA, participants are assured of regulatory certainty and receive what is called an Enhancement of Survival Permit to cover their ongoing land and/or water use. That means no additional conservation actions would be required of the non-Federal participant beyond what was agreed upon in the CCAA, and the Service would not impose additional limitations on the land, water or resource.

Due to specific Federal requirements under the ESA, Federal landowners do not receive assurances or waivers.




Bottomland hardwoods
Bottomland hardwoods. Photo: Tom MacKenzie, USFWS.


Last updated: November 15, 2012