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Species in the Spotlight: Survive to Thrive

February 10, 2016

As we begin the fifth decade of administering the ESA, we rededicate ourselves to ensuring we do not lose any species on our watch. The ESA has been successful in preventing species extinctions—less than 1 percent of the species listed under the ESA have been delisted because of extinction. While we have recovered and delisted a small percentage of listed species since 1973, we would likely have seen hundreds of species go extinct without the ESA.

Of all the species NOAA protects under the ESA, we consider eight among the most at risk of extinction in the near future. As a result, we have launched our “Species in the Spotlight: Survive to Thrive” initiative, a concerted agency-wide effort to spotlight and save these highly at-risk species.

The eight “Species in the Spotlight” are:

Action Plans 

On February 10, 2016, NOAA Fisheries released 5-Year Action Plans for the eight “Species in the Spotlight." These plans outline efforts vital for stabilizing their populations and preventing their extinction, and serve as road maps for their recovery.

Watch the video below to hear NOAA Fisheries Assistant Administrator, Eileen Sobeck, explain how the initiative focuses on efforts that are vital for stabilizing these populations and preventing their extinction.


Atlantic Salmon Gulf of Maine
Distinct Population Segment (DPS)

Central California Coast Coho
Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU)

Cook Inlet Beluga Whale (DPS)

Learn more about Cook Inlet beluga whales.
Hawaiian Monk Seal

Pacific Leatherback Sea Turtle
Sacramento River Winter-run Chinook (ESU)

Southern Resident Killer Whale (DPS)
White Abalone