Recovery plan revisions for 43 more species open for comment

By Laura Bies

Schaus' Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio aristodemus ponceanus) is one of the species receiving an updated recovery plan as part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s current revision effort. ©Carol Rizkalla/Florida Wildlife Commission

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released draft revisions for 29 Endangered Species Act recovery plans, which provide guidance for the recovery of 43 federally protected species, to ensure that the recovery criteria in these plans are measurable and quantifiable.

This is the second batch of revised recovery plans released by USFWS, part of an effort to revise up to 182 recovery plans covering 305 species. In January, the Service released for public comment 26 updated recovery plans covering 42 species.

Recovery plans are guidance documents that include recovery objectives, prioritize recovery actions and outline an expected timeline for recovery. The Service developed guidance in 2010 that allows it to update ESA recovery plans based on new scientific information without having to formally revise the plan in its entirety, as would otherwise by required by law.

The Wildlife Society supports using scientific expertise to develop recovery plan objectives and quantitative recovery targets for species listed on the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

All the species whose recovery plans are being updated in this effort either have undergone or are currently undergoing a status review to consider the best scientific and commercial data that has become available since the species was listed or last reviewed. The information considered during such a status review includes the biology of the species; habitat conditions; conservation measures that have benefitted the species, (threat status and trends in relation to the five listing factors; and other information, data or corrections.

The Service will accept comments on the proposed revisions until July 29. It is specifically requesting information that will help achieve  the necessary understanding of species’ biology, threats and recovery needs; identification of implementation issues and concerns; and facilitation of more effective implementation. 

Read TWS’ position on Threatened and Endangered Species and the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

Laura BiesLaura Bies is a government relations contractor and freelance writer for The Wildlife Society. She has a B.S. in Environmental Science and a law degree from George Washington University. Laura has worked with The Wildlife Society since 2005. Read more of Laura's articles.

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