Recovery Planning for Threatened and Endangered Species

panel of CESA-listed species: Santa Cruz Island bush-mallow, Shasta salamander, Chinook salmon, and greater sandhill cranes


In 2018, a new state law (SB 473(opens in new tab)) gave the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) the authority to develop non-regulatory recovery plans for species listed under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA; Fish & G. Code, § 2079.1). Completed recovery plans will provide practical frameworks for the recovery of CESA-listed plants and animals. Each plan will be based on the best available scientific information and will, at a minimum, include:

  • Site-specific management actions necessary for the recovery of the species
  • Objective, measurable criteria that, when achieved, would result in the potential delisting of the species
  • Estimates of the time required and the cost to carry out those measures and to achieve intermediate steps toward recovery

CDFW will prioritize recovery planning for species that are most likely to benefit from a recovery plan, particularly those threatened by land use changes, climate change, or aquatic habitat changes (Fish & G. Code, § 2079.1(b)).

Species listed under CESA may also be listed under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). Approximately 60% of CESA-listed species are listed under both laws and many may already have a federal recovery plan. For the CESA-listed species for which a federal recovery plan exists, CDFW has the authority to adopt, or adopt with revisions, the federal recovery plan. Any federal recovery plan proposed for adoption, or any newly drafted recovery plan, will go through public review and comment, including a public meeting in the recovery plan area, before being approved.

CDFW is currently drafting recovery planning guidelines, which will provide a framework for how CDFW will approach recovery planning for CESA-listed species. The recovery guidelines will go through a public review process pursuant to Fish and Game Code section 2079.1(g). Interested parties will be notified when the guidelines are ready for review, a link will be available below, and an announcement will be made to the CESA updates distribution list. To subscribe to CESA updates, click the Subscribe button on this page. Once the guidelines are completed and approved, a link will be posted on this page.

For any questions about CESA recovery planning, please email

panel of CESA-listed species: Coachella Valley fringed toed lizard, island foxes, Trinity bristle snail, and riparian brush rabbit


Recovery Planning Guidelines

In development. Check back soon!

Draft Recovery Plans

There are currently no draft recovery plans.

Approved Recovery Plans

There are currently no approved recovery plans.

Habitat Conservation Planning Branch
1010 Riverside Parkway, West Sacramento, CA 95605
Mailing: P.O. Box 944209, Sacramento, CA 94244-2090