This web-based Species Status Assessment (SSA) for the eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi) is the first example of a web-first recovery plan document.  It is a “transliteration” of the version-1 SSA for the snake, that is, copies the text, maps, and other content from PDF to HTML but does not yet include features such as dynamically linked data.  In other words, this is a work-in-progress as we try new and different ideas.  Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, comments, or ideas to contribute!


The U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (collectively, the Services) develop written plans for recovering threatened species and endangered species unless such planning would not aid the species.  The content and process of developing recovery plans has evolved significantly over the past three decades, but these are all still fundamentally paper-based, static plans. These “classic” plans are slow to develop, difficult to update, and do not incorporate many dynamic data sources, such as data on section 7 consultations, that provide context for recovering species.

The Center for Conservation Innovation at Defenders of Wildlife, in collaboration with the Services and with support from the Department of Defense Legacy program, established a pilot program for developing next-generation ESA recovery plans dynamic.  We envision web-based, data-integrated recovery plans that enable improved decision-making and more effective collaboration among all of the parties whose actions affect the conservation of listed species.