The U.S. Endangered Species Act requires that threatened and endangered species have recovery plans to guide their conservation unless doing so would not help. A recent review of ESA recovery plans showed that about 1/4 of listed species lack plans and the median existing plan was over 21 years old. This lack of guidance and dated guidance can hamper recovery–conservationists may not know what needs to be done and where, information on new threats may not be disseminated, and changes in species status may go unnoticed.
Here on esarecovery.org, the Center for Conservation Innovation at Defenders of Wildlife is piloting a new approach to recovery planning that takes advantage of web-based technologies to help address the shortcomings of the current way recovery plans are written and updated. We will be adding examples of web-based Species Status Assessments, existing recovery plans that have been digitized, and other novel tools that can help close the gap on recovery planning.