Document Type


Publication Date



A species is conservation reliant when the threats that it faces cannot be eliminated, but only managed. There are two forms of conservation reliance: population- and threat-management reliance. We provide an overview of the concept and introduce a series of articles that examine it in the context of a range of taxa, threats, and habitats. If sufficient assurances can be provided that successful population and threat management will continue, conservation-reliant species may be either delisted or kept off the endangered species list. This may be advantageous because unlisted species provide more opportunities for a broader spectrum of federal, state, tribal, and private interests to participate in conservation. Even for currently listed species, the number of conservation-reliant species—84% of endangered and threatened species with recovery plans— and the magnitude of management actions needed to sustain the species at recovered levels raise questions about society’s willingness to support necessary action.


Authors: Dale D. Goble, John A. Wiens, J. Michael Scott, Timothy D. Male & John A. Hall