California Endangered Species Act Listing Process

large-flowered fiddleneck plant

State and Federally Endangered Large-Flowered Fiddleneck (Amsinckia grandiflora)

California tiger salamander adult

State and Federally Threatened California Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma californiense)

Tricolored black bird

State Threatened Tricolored Blackbird (Agelaius tricolor)

Swainson's Hawk

State Threatened Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni)

Blennosperma nanum

State Rare Point Reyes Blennosperma (Blennosperma nanum var. robustum)

Giant Garter Snake

State and Federally Threatened Giant Garter Snake (Thamnophis gigas)

Plant and animal species may be designated as threatened or endangered species under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA) after a formal listing process by the link opens in new windowCalifornia Fish and Game Commission. The criteria and process for listing a species as candidate, threatened or endangered are presented in link opens in new windowFish and Game Code Sections 2050, et seq. and link opens in new windowSection 670.1, Title 14, California Code of Regulations.

After the Commission receives a CESA listing petition with the required information, CDFW is responsible for preparing a petition evaluation report that includes a recommendation on whether the petition contains sufficient scientific information to indicate that the petitioned action may be warranted. After receiving CDFW’s petition evaluation report, the Commission must decide at a public meeting whether to accept the petition for consideration. If the petition is accepted the species becomes a candidate species, and CDFW begins preparing a peer-reviewed status report on the species that is based on the best scientific information available to CDFW. As a candidate for listing, the species is temporarily afforded the same protections as a state-listed endangered or threatened species. After CDFW’s status report is complete, the Commission must decide at a public meeting whether the petitioned action is warranted. If the Commission finds that the petitioned action is not warranted, the process ends, and the species will be removed from the list of candidate species. If the Commission finds that the petitioned action is warranted, the species will be added to the list of threatened or endangered species.

For more information on the CESA listing process, see the Commission’s web page on link opens in new windowPetitions to List Species Under the California Endangered Species Act.