Candidate Conservation Program

Candidate Conservation graphicThe Candidate Conservation Program uniquely bridges the non-regulatory and regulatory approaches to species conservation. It includes two key elements:

  • Conducting assessments to identify species most in need of the ESA's protection and the activities that threaten them; and
  • Working through partnerships to conserve these species by improving habitat and removing threats.

Species Assessments

First, the US Fish and Wildlife Service identifies candidates for listing and provides conservation recommendations that can remove or reduce threats so that listing becomes unnecessary. This process:

  • Emphasizes coordination with States and other partners to obtain the best available information on species status and recommendations for conservation; and
  • Provides the foundation for planning and implementing voluntary conservation efforts that are most likely to be effective in improving the status of the species.

Cooperative Conservation
Through a broad suite of public and private partners, FWS provides technical assistance and leverages funding for conservation of candidate and other at-risk species. The program:

  • Provides information to guide strategic approaches to ensure voluntary efforts occur where they are most needed and most likely to be effective in making listing unnecessary;
  • Facilitates development and implementation of Candidate Conservation Agreements and Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances; and
  • Leverages resources by facilitating funding for landowners to engage in voluntary conservation (e.g. through various FWS grants and agreements, Farm Bill programs, DOD programs).

Learn more about the entire candidate conservation process.

Read the candidate species fact sheet.

View a list of all current candidate species.

Read the Candidate Conservation Agreements fact sheet.



Contact Candidate Conservation Program

US Fish and Wildlife Service

National Service


Service Area

National service provider

Office Locaters

To request additions or corrections to this entry email the Administrator