A species is conservation reliant when the threats that it faces cannot be eliminated, but only managed. There are two forms of conservation reliance: population- and threat-management reliance. We provide an overview of the concept and introduce a series of articles that examine it in the context of a range of taxa, threats, and habitats. If sufficient assurances can be provided that successful population and threat management will continue, conservation-reliant species may be either delisted or kept off the endangered species list. This may be advantageous because unlisted species provide more opportunities for a broader spectrum of federal, state, tribal, and private interests to participate in conservation. Even for currently listed species, the number of conservation-reliant species—84% of endangered and threatened species with recovery plans— and the magnitude of management actions needed to sustain the species at recovered levels raise questions about society's willingness to support necessary action.
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