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Species Information

We conserve, protect, and recover species, in partnership with our Regional Offices and Science Centers, environmental organizations, industry groups, other Federal and state agencies, and the academic community, under the:

How many species are protected?

Approximately 2,215 species are listed as endangered or threatened under the ESA. Of these species, about 645 are foreign species, found only in areas outside of the U.S. and our waters.

We have jurisdiction over 125 endangered and threatened marine species, including 38 foreign species. We work with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to manage ESA-listed species. Generally, we manage marine species, while USFWS manages land and freshwater species.

Approximately 125 marine mammals worldwide are protected under the MMPA. Most are under our jurisdiction, but 8 species are under the jurisdiction of USFWS: walrus, polar bear, sea otter, marine otter, West African manatee, Amazonian manatee, West Indian manatee, and dugong.

We manage:

* 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:

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

Other Species

Species and populations that were petitioned for listing, but were not listed are also available on our website:


Key threats to marine species are largely due to human impacts, including:

More Information

Updated: March 30, 2015