U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Ecological Services

Southeast Region

Petition Process


Section 4(b)(3) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) allows for public participation in the Service’s listing process.  The ESA’s implementing regulations for listing provide information on the petition process.

What is a petition?

Petitions are formal requests to list a species that require published findings. The document must clearly identify itself as a petition and be dated.  It must contain the name, signature, address, telephone number, if any, and the association, institution, or business affiliation, if any, of the petitioner.  It must also clearly indicate what action is being requested. 

Anyone may petition the Service to list or reclassify a species from threatened to endangered, or revise critical habitat.  They may also petition the Service to delist a species or reclassify a species from endangered to threatened; however, these petitions are reviewed by the Recovery Program (http://www.fws.gov/southeast/es/recovery.htm).

How are petitions reviewed?

The Petition Process Flowchart – Click on a stage for more detailed information