Ecological Services
Southwest Region

Candidate Conservation Agreements

Candidate Conservation Agreements (CCAs)

CCAs are voluntary conservation agreements between the Service and one or more public or private parties. The Service works with its partners to identify threats to candidate species, plan the measures needed to address the threats and conserve these species, identify willing landowners, develop agreements, and design and implement conservation measures and monitor their effectiveness.

Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances (CCAAs)

CCAAs expand on the success of traditional CCAs by providing non-Federal landowners with additional incentives for engaging in voluntary proactive conservation through assurances that limit future conservation obligations. One of the primary reasons for developing the CCAA program was to address landowner concerns about the potential regulatory implications of having a listed species on their land. The CCAA program specifically targets non-Federal landowners and provides them with the assurance that if they implement various conservation activities, they will not be subject to additional restrictions if the species becomes listed under the ESA. These assurances are only available to non-Federal entities for actions on non-Federal lands.

Combining CCAs and CCAAs

The Service has prepared guidance (48KB, PDF) that combines the use of CCAs and CCAAs to encourage expanded collaborative conservation to help preclude the need to list species occuring on both Federal and non-Federal lands. This guidance was developed in response to the request of non-Federal property owners and has the potential to provide greater certainty that if a species becomes listed despite their efforts, they will not be required to make significant additional changes in their activities on Federal or non-Federal lands. See Using Existing Tools to Expand Cooperative Conservation for Candidate Species Across Federal and Non-Federal Lands (48KB, PDF)

For more information on Candidate Conservation Agreements, see:


Last updated: June 25, 2015