Endangered Species Program
Conserving the Nature of America
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Listing Workplan

In an effort to improve implementation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) submitted to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, a multi-year listing work plan that will enable the agency to systematically, over a period of six years, review and address the needs of more than 250 species listed on the 2010 Candidate Notice of Review, to determine if they should be added to the Federal Lists of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants.

Taylor's checkerspot
Taylor's checkerspot
Ted Thomas/USFWS

The multi-year listing work plan was first developed through an agreement with the plaintiff group WildEarth Guardians and filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on May 10, 2011. On July 12, 2011, the Service reached an agreement with plaintiff group Center for Biological Diversity that reinforces the multi-year work plan. This complimentary agreement includes additional scheduling commitments for a small subset of the actions in the work plan that is consistent with the Services objectives and biological priorities. These historic agreements were approved by Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington, D.C. on September 9, 2011, and will allow the Service to more effectively focus our efforts on providing the benefits of the ESA to those imperiled species most in need of protection.

The priority of the Service is to make implementation of the ESA less complex, less contentious and more effective.  The listing work plan will allow the agency make administration of the ESA more effective and efficient by enabling the Service to again prioritize its workload based on the needs of candidate species, while also providing state wildlife agencies, stakeholders, and other partners clarity and certainty about when listing determinations will be made.

Service Director Dan Ashe's quote

Ensuring the continued protection and recovery of threatened and endangered species requires that the ESA be implemented in a manner that is responsive to both the needs of imperiled resources and the concerns of citizens. The Service has developed a variety of tools and programs to help landowners fashion a conservation strategy for listed and candidate species that is consistent with their land management objectives and needs. These tools include Habitat Conservation Plans and Candidate Conservation Agreements that provide regulatory assurance, technical assistance, programs that provide landowners with recovery credits and tax deductions under certain circumstances, and a grants program that funds conservation projects by private landowners, states and territories.

As we continue to improve ESA implementation, the Service will actively engage conservation partners and the public in the search for improved and innovative ways to conserve and recover imperiled species. By taking action to protect imperiled native fish, wildlife and plants, together we can ensure a healthy future for our community and protect treasured landscapes for future generations.


View the Listing Workplan Schedule for Fiscal Years 2013-2018.

Learn more about the 2010 CNOR species included in our work plan, including which ones are located in your state.

Get answers to frequently asked questions on Strengthening the Listing Program Work Plan (July 12, 2011) [37KB]

View the Press Release for the for the May 5, 2011 Listing Work Plan agreement.

View the Press Release for the July 12, 2011 Listing Work Plan complimentary agreement.

Learn More About Candidate Conservation and Listing


New England Cottontail

New England cottontail

Cottontail released after recorded
for tracking purposes in Rhode Island

Credit: Anne Schnell

An agreement between the
Service and the State of New Hampshire will help restore habitat on private and state-
owned lands for the New England cottontail, which was named a candidate for Endangered
Species Act protection in 2006. Learn more about the agreement.





Last updated: February 27, 2013