Terms and Acronyms

Adaptive Harvest - Management, within changing conditions, focusing on learning and adapting management practices as necessary.

Aquatic Species - Includes all freshwater, anadromous and estuarine fishes, freshwater mollusks, freshwater crustaceans and freshwater amphibians.

Artificial Propagation - The production of organisms in a confined environment controlled by humans, such as a fish hatchery, aviary or segment of natural habitat managed to augment reproduction and survival.

Artificial Refugia - A confined environment controlled by humans, such as a fish hatchery, aviary, or intensively managed segment of natural habitat that sustains organisms and is commonly used to ensure their survival and conserve their genetic diversity when wild habitats alone can no longer perform those functions.

Bird Depredation - Birds that are causing serious injury or damage to agriculture, livestock, wildlife, or other interests.

Candidate Conservation Agreements - Formal agreements between the Service and one or more parties to address the conservation needs of proposed or candidate species or other unlisted species before they become listed as endangered or threatened. Participants voluntarily commit to implementing specific actions that will remove or reduce threats to these species.

Candidate Species - Those species for which the Service has on file sufficient information on biological vulnerability and threats to propose them for listing.

Conservation - The management of natural resources to prevent loss or waste. Management actions may include preservation, restoration and enhancement.

Conservation Agreements - Written agreements reached among two or more parties for the purpose of ensuring the survival and welfare of unlisted species of fish and wildlife and/or their habitats, or to achieve other specified conservation goals. Participants voluntarily commit to implementing specific actions that will remove or reduce the threats to these species.

Conservation (Species) - The use of all methods and procedures which are necessary to bring any species to the point at which the measures provided are no longer necessary. Such methods and procedures include, but are not limited to, all activities associated with scientific resources management such as research, census, law enforcement, habitat acquisition and maintenance, propagation, live trapping, and transplantation. Conservation is the act of managing a resource to ensure its survival and availability.

Creation (wetland habitats) - means the establishment of wetland hydrology on a site that was not previously a wetland

Deepwater - Permanently flooded lands lying below the deepwater boundary of wetlands (per Cowardin et al, 1979). Deepwater areas are located below the elevation of the extreme low water of the spring tide in oceans and estuaries, and those portions of rivers and lakes greater than 6.6 feet in depth.

Delisting - A process for removing a listed species from the lists of threatened and endangered species due to recovery. Delisting requires a formal rulemaking procedure, including publication in The Federal Register.

Direct Take - Under the authorities of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, direct take is to pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect; or attempt to pursue, hunt, shot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect.

Distinct Population Segment - May be defined as a loosely bounded collection of a single vertebrate species or subspecies that is discrete in relation to the remainder of the species and significant to the species to which it belongs. (Policy Regarding the Recognition of Distinct Vertebrate Populations --61 FR 4722.)

Downlisting - Process for changing a species' status from endangered to threatened due to a reduction in threats and improved status of the species. Downlisting requires a formal rulemaking procedure, including publication in The Federal Register.

Ecosystem- Dynamic and interrelating complex of plant and animal (including humans) communities and their associated non-living environment.

Ecosystem Demonstration Areas - Areas within existing national wildlife refuges or an entire national wildlife refuge that is managed for the conservation of natural biological diversity representative of the ecological region in which the site is located. These sites include extensive use of educational practices and technology, including interpretive signs, brochures, and programs designed to promote public understanding of, and participation in, the benefits of an ecosystems approach to fish and wildlife conservation.

Ecosystem Management Plans - Plans developed that identify natural resource needs, set resource goals and objectives, identify needed actions, determine budget needs and outline a process to monitor and evaluate the success of the actions.

Endangered Species - A listed species in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.

Endangered Species Consultations - Process whereby federal agencies consult with the Service on any prospective agency action when the agency has reason to believe that an endangered or threatened species may be effected by an action the agency is funding, permitting, or conducting.

Endangered Species Listing - The process of adding a species to the Endangered Species list, which includes publication in The Federal Register of a proposed rule to list the species, a public comment period allowing for one or more public hearings, and a final determination either to list the species or withdraw the proposal.

Enhance (habitats) - improves habitat through alteration, treatment, or other land management of existing habitat to increase habitat value for one or more species without bringing the habitat to a fully restored or naturally occurring condition.

Estuaries - Deepwater tidal habitats and adjacent tidal wetlands that are usually semi-enclosed by land but have open, partly obstructed, or sporadic access to the open ocean, and in which ocean water is at least occasionally diluted by freshwater runoff from the land.

Facilities Condition Index - An industry standard used to gauge the condition of facilities and equipment, the FCI is the ratio of accumulated deferred maintenance to the replacement cost for a facility or item of equipment or group of facilities or items of equipment. An FCI of less than .05 indicates good condition, an FCI between .05 and .10 indicates fair condition, and an FCI greater than .10 indicates poor condition.

Fish Health Centers - The nine Service facilities dedicated to maintaining the health of wild and captive populations of fish and other aquatic species by prophylactic means and by monitoring, diagnosing, and surveying pathogens and diseases.

Fish Technology Centers - The six Service facilities dedicated to developing and providing technologies needed to propagate fish in the Service's National Fish Hatchery System and to support other fishery management activities of the fisheries program.

Fishery Mitigation - The act of stocking fish in environments that have been altered by human activities, such as the construction and operation of dams and which can no longer support self-sustaining populations of native fish.

Habitat Conservation Planning (HCP) - Section 10 (a) (1) (B) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, the Habitat Conservation Planning process provides species protection and habitat conservation within the context of non-federal development and land use activities. Through development of a HCP, private landowners minimize and mitigate the incidental take of listed, proposed and candidate species associated with their actions. In return, the Service issues an incidental take permit as long as the action will not "appreciably reduce the likelihood of the survival and recovery of the species in the wild." HCP also provides a process that promotes negotiated solutions to endangered species conflicts and provides an alternative to litigation, providing a species a pathway to stability and recovery.

Identified Cleanup Projects - Contaminants cleanup projects identified in the Refuge Operating Needs System and funded from the Refuge Operations subactivity. The majority of these cleanup projects are relatively small in scale, cost less than $100,000 per project and can be completed in one year; however, a small number of larger projects (up to $250,000 in cost and phased over several years) are also involved.

Interjurisdictional Fish - Populations of fish that are managed by two or more states or national or tribal governments because of the scope of their geographic distributions or migrations.

Migratory Nongame Birds of Management Concern - Those species of nongame birds that (a) are believed to have undergone significant population declines; (b) have small or restricted populations; or (c) are dependent upon restricted or vulnerable habitats.

Migratory Species - Species that move substantial distances to satisfy one or more biological needs, most often to reproduce or escape intolerable cyclic environmental conditions.

Mission Critical Water Management Facilities - All water management facilities continued on our Real Property Inventory.

Multi-species Recovery Plan - A recovery plan developed for more than one listed species. Multi-species recovery plans are usually developed for groups of listed species that share similar habitat and/or face similar threats.

National Fish Hatchery System - The Service's national fish hatcheries engage in captive propagation of fish and other aquatic species and the fish technology centers and fish health centers provide scientific, engineering, and technical support to these hatcheries.

National Wildlife Refuge System - All lands and waters and interests therein administered by the Service as wildlife refuges, wildlife ranges, wildlife management areas, waterfowl production areas, and other areas for the protection and conservation of fish and wildlife, including those that are threatened with extinction.

National Outreach Strategy - Outreach is a two-way communication between the Service and the public to access understanding and impact of the Service's education programs. It establishes mutual understanding and promotes involvement with the goal of improving joint stewardship of America's fish and wildlife resources.

Partnership Agreements - See Conservation Agreements

Population Monitoring - Assessments of the characteristics of populations to ascertain their status and establish trends related to their abundance, condition, distribution or other characteristics.

Project (International Projects) - A specific activity conducted abroad or under an international mandate or protocol, which directly contributes to the conservation of an international species of common interest.

Protect (habitat) - Maintain current quality or prevent degradation to habitat. The act of ensuring that habitat quantity and quality do not change, most often as a result of human activities but sometimes in response to unwelcome natural processes or phenomena.

Recovery Plans (species) - Documents developed by the Service that outline tasks necessary to stabilize and recover listed species. Recovery plans include goals for measuring species progress towards recovery, estimated costs and time frames for the recovery process, and an identification of public and private partners that can contribute to implementation of the recovery plan.

Refuge Comprehensive Management Plan - A document, completed with public involvement, that describes the desired future condition and provides long-term (15 year planning horizon) guidance to accomplish the purposes of the refuge system and the individual refuge units.

Reintroduction (of species) - Listed species reintroduced into their former range when such an action is necessary for species recovery and is called for in an approved recovery plan. Species may be reintroduced with the full protection of their listed status or as an experimental population that allows for greater flexibility in how the reintroduced individuals are managed.

Restore (habitat) - returns the quantity and quality of habitat to some previous naturally occurring condition, most often some baseline considered suitable and sufficient to support self-sustaining populations of fish and wildlife.

Riparian habitats - Those lands adjacent to streams or rivers that form a transition zone between aquatic and upland systems and are typically dominated by woody vegetation that is of a noticeably different growth form than adjacent vegetation. Riparian areas may or may not meet the definition of wetlands used by Cowardin et al (1979).

Riverine - Areas within the active channel of a river or stream.

Safe Harbor Agreements - Agreements signed by the Service and a non-federal property owner and any other appropriate cooperator that (a) set forth specific management activities that the property owner will voluntarily undertake or forgo that will provide a net conservation benefit to covered species; and (b) provide the property owner with assurances that future land use activities will not be subject to increased regulation associated with increased endangered species presence.

Species of Concern - A species not on the federal list of threatened or endangered species, but a species for which the Service or one of its partners has concerns.

Stock Assessment - Investigations to establish the uniqueness of different populations of the same species, most often in terms of their genetic composition, distribution or some other life history attribute.

Threatened Species - A listed species which is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.

Transboundary Species - Species that by virtue of their migration or distribution cross boundaries that separate states or nations, including tribes.

Uplands - All lands not meeting the definition of wetlands, deepwater, or riverine.

Visitors - The total number of visitors to the Refuge System and Fish Hatchery System as estimated by refuge managers in the annual Public Education and Recreation module of the Refuge Management Information System and by hatchery managers in .

Wetlands - Lands transitional between terrestrial and aquatic systems where the water table is usually at or near the surface or the land is covered by shallow water (Cowardin et. al., 1979. In layman's terms, this habitat category includes marshes, swamps and bogs.

Wildlife-dependent Recreation - Refers to recreation on refuges, involving hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and photography or environmental education and interpretation.



Activity Based Costing


Assistant Director (Washington Office in charge of program)


Accessibility Data Management System 


Automated Data Processing 


Assistant Regional Director 


Budget and Administration 


Bureau of Indian Affairs


Bureau of Land Management 


Business Management and Operations (Washington Program Office)


Contracting and Facilities Management


Director for the Service


Office for Diversity and Civil Rights


Deputy Director for the Service


Division of Environmental Contaminants


Division of Engineering 


Division of Habitat Conservation 


Department of Natural Resources (state conservation department)


Department of the Interior


Deputy Regional Director


External Affairs


Equal Employment Opportunity


Ecological Services 


Endangered Species Act


Federal Financial System 


Fisheries and Habitat Conservation (Washington Program Office)


Federal Personnel and Payroll System 


Freedom of Information Act 


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (aka the Service)


Habitat and Population Evaluation Team 


International Affairs (Washington Program Office)


Information Resources and Technology Management 


Job Corps Center 


 Local Area Network 


Law Enforcement 


Migratory Birds 


National Conservation Training Center 


National Fish Hatchery 


National Park Service 


 National Wetlands Inventory 


National Wildlife Refuge 


Office of Management Authority 


Office of Personnel Management 


Office of the Secretary in the Department of the Interior


Office of Workers' Compensation Program 


Private Lands 


Policy, Management & Budget (Department of the Interior)


Regional Director 


Remote Data Entry System 




Refuge Operations 


Reduction in Force 


Regional Office


Reemployment Priority List 


Service Asset Management and Maintenance System


Office of the Solicitor (Department of the Interior)

SF - 50

Notification of Personnel Action (Form #)

SF - 52

Request for Personnel Action (Form#)

SF - 182

Request, Authorization, Agreement and Certification of Training Form (Form#)



T & A

Time and Attendance Reporting 


Threatened and Endangered Species 


Website for federal Vacancy Announcements 


Visitor and Information Management 


Voluntary Placement Program 


Wetland Acquisition Office 


Wetland Management District


Washington Office