Each year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) publishes its annual Candidate Notice of Review (CNOR) in the Federal Register. The 2015 CNOR is available here, and includes the candidate species of plants and animals that FWS has deemed eligible for listing under the Endangered Species Act, but which have not yet been listed due to higher priority listings. The 18 plants and 42 animals on the 2015 notice are the fewest number of candidate species listed since FWS began the list in 1975. This is due, in part, to litigation settlements between FWS and the Center for the Biological Diversity and WildEarth Guardians which mandated that FWS expedite their listing decisions and thereby reduce the number of candidate species on the CNOR.
Despite increasing its review of candidate species, the FWS was recently served with two 60-day notices of intent to sue from the Center for Biological Diversity relating to missed statutory deadlines for a final listing determination on two candidate species – the alligator snapping turtle and wood turtle.
The CNOR also provides summaries of FWS’ listings over the past year.