A green sea turtle on the cover of a recovery doc.

Dynamic recovery: Web-based ESA recovery plans

A green sea turtle on the cover of a recovery doc.

Dynamic recovery: Web-based ESA recovery plans

Abstract

The U.S. Endangered Species Act directs the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to develop plans that guide the recovery of threatened and endangered species. All recovery plans to-date have been written and published on paper (or as PDFs), and have been rarely if ever updated. As of October 2016, half of all recovery plans are 19 years old or older. These out-of-date, non-interactive plans limit recovery and limit our (collective) ability to integrate other regulatory aspects of the ESA, such as section 7 consultation, with recovery. FWS and NMFS recognize the need to update how recovery planning is done. Defenders of Wildlife has been developing a variety of alternative approaches and platforms to modernize recovery plans. Each prototype is, at this time, based on the green sea turtle recovery plan; below we briefly discuss and link to these alternatives. We have also written up a brief analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of these different dynamic recovery plan types. NOTE: Many of the links are no longer functional as the project has wound down.

ESA recovery
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Jacob Malcom
Director

As Director in the Center for Conservation Innovation at Defenders, Jacob leads CCI’s work at the intersection of science, technology, and policy to improve conservation outcomes, especially for threatened and endangered species.

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