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Species Information

The Office of Protected Resources works to conserve and recover species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) in partnership with NOAA Fisheries Regions and Science Centers, environmental organizations, industry groups, other Federal and state agencies, and the academic community.

Species Numbers, Types, and Status

The Office of Protected Resources manages mostly marine and anadromous species, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages the remainder of the listed species, mostly terrestrial and freshwater species.

There are approximately 2,140 species listed under the ESA as endangered or threatened. Of these species, approximately 1,515 are found in part or entirely in the U.S. and its waters; the remainder are foreign species.

There are approximately 125 marine mammal species worldwide managed under the MMPA. Of those 125, 8 species are under the jurisdiction of the USFWS (walrus, polar bear, sea otter, marine otter, West African manatee, Amazonian manatee, West Indian manatee, and dugong).

The Office of Protected Resources manages

* Note: The total number of OPR species does not double count ESA-listed marine mammals. For example, the sperm whale is protected under both the ESA and the MMPA, but is only counted once.

Additional species are currently under review or of concern to the Office of Protected Resources:

*Species and populations for which we have denied the petition (negative 90-day findings) or have completed a status review and have determined that listing is not warranted at this time ("Not Warranted" 12-month findings) can also be found on our website.

**Delisted species and those that are under review or proposed for delisting can also be found on our website.


Key threats to marine species are largely due to human impacts, including accidental capture in fishing gear, habitat destruction, pollution, overharvest, and ship strikes. These threats may contribute to a species' status as threatened or endangered.

More Information

Updated: April 2, 2014