At-Risk Species Conservation

Listing a plant or animal as federally protected under the Endangered Species Act is proven to be successful in preventing extinction.

However, providing a plant or animal this level of protection is America’s last line of defense. There are tremendous opportunities for voluntary conservation actions, undertaken before a species requires listing, to preclude the need to list species and improve habitats for listed, at-risk and common species alike.

A plant or animal is considered “at-risk” when:

  • It is proposed for listing as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act,
  • It is a candidate species for listing, or
  • It has been petitioned by a third party for listing.
A small beige turtle with dark brown spots on it's shell standing on sandy sparsly vegetated ground.

A baby gopher tortoise. Photo by Randy Browning, USFWS.

Online Tool for Tracking At-Risk Species

We have developed a free, online tool, the At-Risk Species Finder, that allows anyone to discover essential information about a species’ status and the lead U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service office for that species.

When determining whether or not a species requires the protection of the Act, we assign a Field Office as lead for reviewing all the best scientific and commercial information on the species’ status. Field Offices will have the most information on a particular at-risk species, and all offices follow the same process to determine whether or not a species may require federal protection.

Using the Finder, you can search species by:

  • Common and scientific name
  • State range
  • Taxon
  • Lead USFWS office or region
  • Current status
  • And more.

Access the At-Risk Species Finder.

A small, lobster-shaped crayfish with white belly and brownish red back and pincers in a sandy aquarium.

The lagniappe crayfish was petitioned and therefore at-risk until biologists determined it does not require protection. Photo by Chris Lukhaup, courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service.

Work With Us

Whether you’re a landowner, state wildlife agency, private corporation, university or average American citizen, there are numerous opportunities to undertake voluntary actions to conserve species at-risk.

To discuss the possibilities and to learn more, please contact:

Mike Harris, At-Risk Species Coordinator
michael_harris@fws.gov
(404) 679-7066