Nongame and Rare Species Program:
Federal Candidate and Petitioned Species
The federal process of evaluating species that potentially merit listing as endangered or threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act is lengthy and has many opportunities for scientific review and public input in that process. Some of the species in that process are the result of petitions to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and some are the result of lawsuits. One such lawsuit resulted in the October 2011 Multi-District Litigation Settlement (MDL), which created a five-year workplan for USFWS to address many of the species on the current candidate list. In addition to the settlement workplan, USFWS is periodically petitioned to list additional species, which adds to the list of species which must be assessed in a certain timeframe to determine their status: candidate, threatened, endangered, or listing not warranted. Even if a species makes it to the candidate list, it may not be listed upon review of all of the best available science and conservation actions.
The links below provide information on species moving through the federal candidate process; the state of Texas does not have a candidate process. Texas hosts several species that are currently candidates or have been petitioned for federal listing.