New York State Wildlife Action Plan

The New York State Wildlife Action Plan is a ten year plan designed to protect threatened and declining wildlife populations across the state, and to guide biodiversity conservation initiatives. For the 2015 update, the NY Department of Environmental Conservation and agency partners completed assessments for nearly 600 wildlife species, and identified 366 Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) for immediate conservation action. Climate change, along with pollution, invasive species, and loss of habitat to development are the threats that are considered of highest concern to New York’s SGCN - and the plan includes many strategies to address climate impacts on these species. 

The climate change impacts of highest risk to imperiled wildlife in NY considered include: Habitat shifting and alteration, Droughts, Temperature extremes, and Storms and flooding. The plan’s strategies are designed to mitigate these threats; develop monitoring data on SGCN populations; restore these species and their habitats; and to inform the public and engage the conservation community.

Of the 366 SGCN identified in New York, 167 species were determined to be high priority SGCN, including for example little brown bats, spruce grouse, winter flounder, horseshoe crab, dwarf and American bumblebee. Conservation actions were determined for each SGCN, and detailed information on scope, readiness, durability, relative priority, and estimated cost of the action in a database.

Recommended actions are prioritized by those that benefit the most SGCN, benefit high priority SGCN, and address the threats to species and habitats. Some priority actions are geographically focused - which is based on ecoregions for terrestrial species, watershed for freshwater aquatic species, and habitat type for marine species.


In 2001, the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Act was passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law, initiating the State Wildlife Grant (SWG) program - which is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The SWG program disburses annual Congressional funding allocations by formula to states and territories - and in order to receive SWG funding, states were required to complete a Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy. The Strategies (also/now known as State Wildlife Action Plans) require the development of a list of Species of Greatest Conservation Need, assessed threats to these species and their habitats, and described conservation strategies, monitoring plans, and public outreach efforts.

Publication Date: September 2015

Related Organizations:

  • New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Plans (other)

States Affected:


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