Candidate Conservation
Southeast Region
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Conservation Actions

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Southeast Regional Office has approximately 32 partners biologists delivering proactive conservation by working closely with landowners through the Partners for Fish and Wildlife (PFW) Program. They work with landowners to restore streams and wetlands, bottomland hardwood forests, longleaf pine, native prairie, and caves and karsts ecosystems. Learn more about their work.

A report on a five-year pilot to determine the effectiveness of our work with private landowners for conserving six species (black pine snake, elfin-woods warbler, gopher tortoise, slabside pearly mussel, yellowcheek darter and Everglades bully) is available here: Partners in Candidate Conservation Pilot (PDF, 2.7MB)

Multiple At-Risk Species in North Florida

Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for Multiple At-Risk Species in North Florida, Appendicies I, II, III; November 14, 2016 (Draft)

Camp Blanding Joint Training Center, Clay County, Florida

Gopher Tortoise

7th Annual Gopher Tortoise CCA Report (PDF, 1.6MB)

Department of Defense; Proposed Gopher Tortoise Conservation and Crediting Strategy

Under the Strategy, the military services would voluntarily agree to undertake specified conservation activities to conserve gopher tortoise populations and habitat within the Strategy Area. These activities generate Gopher Tortoise Conservation Credits. Consideration of the credits would be undertaken to offset impacts to the species from training operations were the gopher tortoise to be federally-listed as “threatened” or “endangered” in the portion of the Strategy Area where the impacts occurred.

Final Range-Wide Conservation Strategy for the Gopher Tortoise (posted May 7, 2013 - 1.4Mb)

Previous draft versions of Gopher Tortoise strategy:

August 22, 2012 Webinar Presentation: Download (7 MB .PPTX) or view below

Download the Audio from the Gopher Tortoise Webinar (.mp3, 9.0 MB)

Gopher Tortoise CCA - final, December 2012

The Candidate Conservation Agreement for the gopher tortoise, signed in 2008 and revised in 2009 and 2012, is a cooperative effort among state, federal, non-governmental and private organizations. Under the agreement, signatories collectively report 4.5 million acres of potential habitat and approximately 24,338 gopher tortoises. They have conducted 390,000 acres of prescribed burning and restored 350,000 acres of habitat.

4th Annual Report to the Candidate Conservation Agreement for the Gopher Tortoise (PDF, 1.1MB)

Elfin-Woods Warbler

CCA - Download the document (PDF, 2.79MB)

The Elfin-woods warbler is a bird native to the forests of Puerto Rico. Listed as "Vulnerable" by the state of Puerto Rico, it was petitioned as a candidate for listing by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2004. This Candidate Conservation Agreement was developed as a cooperative effort between the USDA Forest Service, the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Agreement allows us to work together, leveraging our collective knowledge and funding (as available) to conserve and maintain important habitat for the Elfin-woods warbler, and to reduce potential threats to the species and its habitat.

Yadkin River Goldenrod

CCA - Download the document (PDF, 27.8MB)

Thanks to a Candidate Conservation Agreement signed between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Alcoa Power Generating Inc., the Yadkin River goldenrod was removed from the list of candidate species in November 2013. The plant is found in a small section of the Yadkin River in North Carolina, on shoreline owned by Alcoa. The plant had been listed as a candidate for federal protection in 2005. Under the CCA, the company has agreed to control invasive and exotic vegetation; help expand the population; and regularly monitor the species. For more information, go to

Louisiana Pine Snake

CCA - Download the document (PDF, 27.8MB)

The Louisiana pine snake (Pituophis ruthveni) is recognized as one of the rarest snakes in North America. This amended and revised Candidate Conservation Agreement (CCA) for the Louisiana pine snake, a candidate species for Federal listing as threatened or endangered, has been developed as a cooperative effort among the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Defense's Fort Polk and the Join Readiness Training Center, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and the Assocation of Zoos and Aquariums in order to collectively implement proactive conservation measures and habitat management guidelines throughout a significant portion of the snake's known range.

Robust Redhorse

CCAA - Download the document (PDF - 3.0 MB) - Download appendix (2.2 MB) - Download Section 10 Permit (979 KB)

The robust redhorse, not seen in more than a century, was rediscovered in the early 1990s in the Oconee River below a hydropower dam at Lake Sinclair. In 2002, a Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances was signed by FWS, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Georgia Power, which owns and operates the dam. Together, they agreed to establish a refugial population in the Ocmulgee River below Georgia Power’s Lloyd Shoals Dam and increase understanding of habitat requirements and life history of the robust redhorse. Under the CCAA, Georgia DNR stocked the fish in the Ocmulgee, and Georgia Power is funding research studies of the Ocmulgee population.

Spring Pygmy Sunfish

CCAA McDonald Farm - Download the document (PDF - 1.79 MB)

CCAA Horton Farm - Download the document (PDF - 6.38 MB)

CCAA Belle Mina Farm - Download the document (PDF - 1.5 MB)

The spring pygmy sunfish is an extremely rare and imperiled species, and is of concern to the Service, other biologists, and the landowners whose properties contain the species.  It is endemic to spring-fed wetlands associated with the Tennessee River in Lauderdale and Limestone Counties in northern Alabama. Three Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances were signed in 2012 and 2013 with a landowners who have agreed to help conserve the species with best management practices on agricultural lands.

Greater Adams Cave Beetle and Lesser Adams Cave Beetle

CCAA - Download the document (PDF - 4 MB)

In 2001, the Service elevated these species to candidate species status (64 Federal Register 54808-54832). These two species are only known to occur in Adams Cave in Madison County, Kentucky The purpose of this CCAA, signed in March 2005, is for the Service to join with Southern Conservation Corporation to implement conservation measures for the beetles.

Camp Shelby Burrowing Crayfish

CCA - Download the document (PDF - 319 KB)

The Mississippi Museum of Natural Sciences, Mississippi Army National Guard at Camp Shelby, DeSoto National Forest and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have developed this CCA through cooperative effort in order to significantly reduce or eliminate any current or potential threats to the CSBC and its habitat to the degree that it is unlikely the species will become threatened or endangered in the forseeable future.


Speckled Pocketbook and Yellowcheek Darter

Safe Harbor Agreement (SHA) and CCAA - Download the document (PDF - 967 KB)

This Agreement is part of an application for an Enhancement of Survival Permit (Permit) associated with a programmatic Safe Harbor Agreement (SHA) for the endangered speckled pocketbook (Lampsilis streckeri) and an application for a Permit associated with a programmatic Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) for the yellowcheek darter (Etheostoma moorei). Both the SHA and CCAA and associated Permit will target non-federal lands in the upper Little Red River Watershed of Arkansas whose owners are willing to engage in voluntary conservation actions for the two species. The parties involved are the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, The Nature Conservancy's Arkansas Field Office, the Nautral Resources Conservation Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.



Robust redhorse.
Robust redhorse. Photo: Georgia Department of Natural Resources

A Yadkin River goldenrod.
A Yadkin River goldenrod.
Photo: Misty Buchanan - N.C. Natural Heritage Program.

Gopher tortoise
Gopher tortoise. Photo: Rob Tawes, USFWS.

A small speckled fish swimming near plants
Spring Pygmy Sunfish. Photo: Conservation Fisheries, Inc.


Last updated: December 13, 2016