Ecological Services
Southeast Region


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Endangered Species Recovery Program


Recovery is the process by which the decline of an endangered or threatened species is arrested or reversed and threats removed or reduced so that the species’ long term survival in the wild can be ensured.

The goal of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) is the recovery of listed species to levels where protection under the ESA is no longer necessary.

Recovery programs conducted under the ESA work. The ESA has been credited with saving many species from extinction, including the red wolf, Puerto Rican parrot, peregrine falcon, and the bald eagle. The fact that 99 percent of listed species have not been lost speaks to the success of the ESA in conserving species that are at risk of extinction.

However, recovery is a challenge that takes time. We are attempting to halt or reverse declines that in some instances have been more than 200 years in the making.

Achieving recovery for threatened and endangered species required cooperative conservation efforts. The collaborative efforts of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its many partners (Federal, State, and local agencies, tribes, conservation organizations, private landowners, concerned citizens, and the business community) are critical to the recovery of listed species.


Recovery Champions—2011

The Southeast Region celebrates the contributions and significant achievements of all of our nationally recognized Recovery Champions and regionally recognized Leaders in Recovery.  We are grateful for their continued hard work and dedication to the recovery of endangered and threatened species.

Additional information about this year’s winners can be found on our national website:


National Recovery Champions

David Lincicome
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
Nashville, Tennessee   

Mark Cantrell
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Asheville, North Carolina


National Cross-Regional Recovery Champions

Ted Turner
Turner Endangered Species Fund
Bozeman, Montana

Mike Phillips
Turner Endangered Species Fund
Bozeman, Montana

Christine Kelly
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission 


Regional Leaders in Recovery

Dr. Nick Haddad
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, North Carolina

Dr. Haddad has contributed significantly towards the recovery of the federally endangered St. Francis’ Satyr butterfly.  In 2000, Dr. Haddad became interested in the St. Francis’ Satyr, a North Carolina endemic butterfly species that lives solely on military lands at Fort Bragg.  Thanks to breakthrough research by Dr. Haddad and his students, we now know where adults lay their eggs in the wild, when the larvae hatch, what the caterpillars eat, and where they live on Fort Bragg.  Dr. Haddad also discovered the intricate love-hate relationship this butterfly has with beavers, water and fire.  His work has been recently featured in several popular publications, including the Smithsonian Magazine, Wildlife in North Carolina, and the Endangered Species Bulletin published by the Service.  Dr. Haddad’s research and survey work have contributed greatly to our knowledge of the number of populations, distribution, status and health of the species. Dr. Haddad has forged many partnerships in North Carolina including the Service, the NC Natural Heritage Program, and Fort Bragg’s Endangered Species Branch, all of which will be crucial to recovering this species.


Dr. Joyce Maschinski and the Fairchild Garden South Florida Conservation Team
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Coral Gables, Florida

Under Dr. Maschinski’s leadership, the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (FTBG) has strengthened and expanded its conservation program for the recovery and conservation of South Florida endangered and threatened plants. For 10 years, Dr. Maschinski’s program has been actively engaged in a variety of recovery activities for dozens of imperiled plant species including:  (1) monitoring; (2) determining horticultural methods for cultivation and long-term storage; (3) conducting biological and ecological research; (4) assisting land managers with evaluating habitat management and restoration; and (5) reintroducing rare species in the wild.  Dr. Maschinski spearheaded the recovery program for the endangered Key tree-cactus.   She and her team have also coordinated habitat restoration and implemented reintroductions for the endangered beach jacquemontia, the endangered crenulate lead plant, and the Florida prairie clover (a candidate species).  By providing information about rare plant conservation to lay and scientific communities in local, regional, national, and international arenas, Dr. Maschinski and her team have been leaders in increasing interest and awareness in imperiled plants native to South Florida.


Anita Goetz
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Asheville, North Carolina

Anita was a chief orchestrator of the Ochlawaha Bog restoration project, which returned a large portion of this field to wetland and created a wetland pool where hundreds of endangered bunched arrowheads emerged.  Working with partners, Anita has focused her attention on recovering listed aquatic and wetland species in the Southern Appalachians. Over the past three years, she has helped Service partners secure more than $2.3 million in funding for conservation.  She has also played a leading role in the removal of two dams in the upper Nolichucky River watershed, home to the endangered Appalachian elktoe mussel, and lead efforts to inventory and prioritize barriers to passage of aquatic species in the Little Tennessee River basin and the South Toe River watershed, both home to several listed mussel species.  By focusing her private land conservation efforts on the recovery of listed species, Anita has made tremendous strides in expanding our knowledge of the needs and limiting factors of these species and completed several projects which benefit a range of listed species across the Southern Appalachians.  



Something is killing our bats


Species Stories in the Spotlight

        Pygmy madtom (Noturus stanauli)


Partners in the Spotlight

        Bears Den in Wetland Reserve Program Lands


Accomplishments with Grants

FWS offers millions of dollars in grants for endangered species conservation and recovery. Examples of this are Endangered Species Grants to States and Territories authorized under section 6 of the ESA.


Species Delisted or Downlisted under the ESA


5-year Reviews


Previous National Recovery Champions / Regional Leaders in Recovery

The Southeast Region celebrates the contributions and significant achievements of all of our nationally recognized Recovery Champions and regionally recognized Leaders in Recovery. We are grateful for their continued hard work and dedication to the recovery of endangered and threatened species.



Social Media

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A bright green Puerto Rican parrot's face
The endangered Puerto Rican parrot. Photo: Tom MacKenzie, USFWS.

Girl hugging Ivory-billed Woodpecker.
Hugging an ivory-billed woodpecker. Photo: USFWS.

Two brown pelicans sit beak-to-beak at Breton National Wildlife Refuge
Two brown pelicans sit beak-to-beak at Breton National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana. Photo: Greg Thompson, USFWS.


Last updated: July 18, 2012