Wildlife Action Plan

Help Us Keep the N.C. Wildlife Action Plan Up-To-Date

The North Carolina Wildlife Action Plan (NCWAP) is intended to provide a foundation for State and Federal agencies and other conservation partners to think strategically about their individual roles and coordinate prioritizing conservation efforts throughout the state.  At a minimum, North Carolina's Plan will be comprehensively evaluated and revised every 10 years. However, we expect that as new information is discovered about the status of species and natural communities we will need to develop interim updates. You can help us keep the content of the Plan relevant to current issues and needs by sharing your knowledge about the state's fish and wildlife species and their habitats, for example:

  • Projects you (or your organization) are working on that implement priority conservation recommendations outlined in the NCWAP,
  • What you have learned from research concerning fish and wildlife or their habitats,
  • How climate change is being included in your planning processes and projects, or
  • Emerging concerns that have not been addressed in the NCWAP that will impact species or their habitats in North Carolina.


Cindy Simpson
Wildlife Action Plan Coordinator
N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission 
1721 Mail Service Center 
Raleigh, NC 27699-1721 

2025 Wildlife Action Plan

Stay tuned for upcoming announcements about regional workshops!

The WRC has recently started the next 10-year comprehensive revision process and invites all interested partners, organizations, and individuals to participate in revising the WAP. Please stay tuned for further announcements about regional workshops that will focus on climate adaptation, habitat conservation needs, species of greatest conservation need, and other conservation priorities. If you would like to share this information with others please download the attached outreach flyer.

2025 Wildlife Action Plan Revision Outreach Flyer 1

2025 Wildlife Action Plan Revision Outreach Flyer 2

2025 Wildlife Action Plan Revision Outreach Flyer 3

2025 Wildlife Action Plan Revision Outreach Flyer 4

North Carolina's Wildlife Action Plan (WAP) is a comprehensive planning tool developed by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission to help conserve and enhance the state’s full array of fish and wildlife species and their habitats. State Wildlife Action Plans emerged from a mandate by the U.S. Congress that each state develop a comprehensive conservation strategy to be eligible for federal funding under the State Wildlife Grants program.

Since submitting the state’s first WAP in 2005, North Carolina has received an average $1.3 million dollars annually to support implementation of the conservation actions laid out in the Plan. In large part these funds have been used to support the Commission’s Wildlife Diversity Program, which implements the WAP throughout North Carolina.

The 2015 WAP was developed in cooperation with numerous partners, including federal and state agencies, conservation organizations, and stakeholders. The Wildlife Commission received approval from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for the comprehensive revision of the WAP on March 30, 2016.

The 2020 Addendum 1 is an interim revision to incorporate new web-based assessment tools, project results, species name and listing status changes, and revisions to the Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) list. Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) and other priority fish and wildlife can now be specifically targeted by carefully considering conservation or management options within essential habitats. The goal is to strategically target imperiled animals and their required habitats early, preventing them from becoming extinct. With the 2020 Addendum 1 to the NC Wildlife Action Plan, there are 483 SGCN listed in the Plan. This number includes amphibians, birds, crayfishes, freshwater fishes and mussels, mammals, reptiles, and terrestrial and aquatic snails evaluated by Wildlife Action Plan Taxa Teams of species experts. The SGCN also includes insect and marine species evaluated by others and determined to be a priority for conservation action. North Carolina’s WAP describes 17 river basins and 40 types of aquatic, wetland, and terrestrial natural communities found across the state that provide important habitat to fish and wildlife. The plan matches each SGCN to the habitat type or river basin where it is found, identifies the most important threats facing each habitat, and details the priority conservation actions required to protect and conserve these species and habitats.

Addendum 2 is an interim revision to add plants to the SGCN list. This addendum is in preparation for the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA), proposed federal legislation with wide bi-partisan support, which will include provisions for plant conservation. When passed, RAWA will provide a new source of federal matching grant funds to states that include plants as SGCN in their Wildlife Action Plans. The Wildlife Commission will join 15 other state wildlife agencies that already include plants in their Wildlife Action Plans. Addendum 2 will also add a new natural community description for Piedmont and Coastal Plain Oak Forests, and a table is added to provide habitat associations between plant SGCN and the natural communities described in the Plan. 

Addendum 2 Plant SGCN

Addendum 2 Plant SGCN – Appendix H Update

NEW! May 2023 - A new online tool is available to help users quickly search Wildlife Action Plan content to find priority conservation actions and recommendations for SGCN, habitats, and 11 different categories of potential threats. The search tool offers two options for search criteria that includes habitat categories and types, five recommendation categories, river basins, taxa type or single SGCN, and threat category. Search results can be printed or exported as an Excel worksheet. Please visit the search tool by visiting the Wildlife Action Plan Search website or by pasting this URL into your internet browser https://www.ncpaws.org/paws/wrc/speciesranking/search.aspx.