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Restoring Declining Species
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Commerce Department's National Marine Fisheries Service announced a policy in March 2003 to guide states, local, tribal, and foreign governments, businesses, private organizations, and individuals in their efforts to restore populations of declining species before they require the protection of the Endangered Species Act. The Policy for Evaluation of Conservation Efforts will ensure consistent and adequate evaluation of current and future conservation efforts when considering species for addition to the Federal list of threatened and endangered species. The policy identifies certain criteria that the two agencies will use in determining whether a future or recently implemented conservation effort, such as habitat restoration or protection, has contributed to the long-term survival of a species. This action makes listing that species unnecessary, or contributes to improving the status of a species to the extent it should be listed as threatened rather than endangered.
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