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ECOS Application Help

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The Recovery Plan module allows the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to manage and report on activities related to recovery of ESA-listed species, as set forth in species Recovery Plans.

A Recovery Plan for one or a group of federally listed endangered or threatened species serves as a road map for the species' recovery—laying out where we need to go and how best to get there. Recovery Plans are guidance documents to identify, organize, coordinate, and prioritize the many and varied recovery actions that will lead to recovery of a listed species (or group of species) so that protections under the Endangered Species Act are no longer needed. Recovery Planning is intended to track our progress in achieving the recovery criteria and site-specific management actions that are stated in each Recovery Plan.

Recovery Planning tracks all of the Recovery Actions that make up the Implementation Schedule of a published Recovery Plan. In addition to the data that can be found in the published form of the Implementation Schedule, Recovery Planning also tracks several other fields of interest:

  • Each Recovery Action has an Implementation Status, indicating our current progress in implementing that Action ("Not Started," "Ongoing Current," "Complete," "Abandoned," etc.)
  • Each Recovery Action can be assigned one or more Work Types ("Acquisition," "Management: Disease Control," "Research: Propagation," etc.)
  • Each Research Action can be assigned one or more Labor Types ("Volunteer," "Species Expert," etc.)
  • Actual expenditures can be recorded for each Recovery Action by fiscal year and by responsible party.


The primary object that Recovery Planning deals with is a Plan (or Plan Folder). This is a document or group of documents that (normally) either has been or will be published in the Federal Register. These documents might be a Draft Recovery Plan, a Final Recovery Plan, an Addendum, etc. Plans are "owned" by a Field Office (for FWS) or Lead Region/Office (for NMFS); from Recovery Planning's perspective, this is the office (can be multiple people with the office) that is responsible for the technical content and day-to-day management of the Plan. Normally, this Office has been designated as the Recovery Lead for the Plan (or for the species addressed by the Plan).

A Plan is associated with one or more species (entities listed under the ESA) that it addresses. The Plan also specifies the species' Recovery Criteria—i.e., Recovery Planning captures the text of the Recovery Criteria, as published in the Plan.

In addition, the Plan contains an Implementation Schedule, which is made up of a number of Recovery Actions. These Recovery Actions are the heart of the Recovery Planning module. Each Action can optionally designate its own Lead Office (e.g., in the case of a wide-ranging species, where different Actions might actually take place in different FWS or NMFS Regions). Recovery Planning captures all of the Action information normally published in an Implementation Schedule (priority, annual cost estimates, parties, etc.) as well as the various fields noted above.

Finding More Help

Every page and form in the record management interface (Plan Folders and their contents) of Recovery Planning has a "Help" button in the upper right corner. Click on this button to get help pertinent to the page that you are looking at—the help text will open in a separate window. Also, some of the fields in some of the forms have tooltips associated with them. Any time you see this image: , you can hover your cursor over it, and help text for that specific field will be displayed. On the Search (Home) and Report pages, move the cursor away to close the popup; on the green pages, click on the popup to close it.

Finally, in the footer at the bottom of every page is a Contact ECOS link, which opens a ticket for the ECOS Help Desk in a separate window and also supplies a phone number.

Entering your Recovery Plan and RIS in ECOS

More information coming soon.


The following tutorials can be viewed from your computer. Each tutorial provides instruction on a component of Recovery Planning or ECOS. Click the tutorial link and then click the Run or Save button. If you choose Run, there will be a brief wait for the download, and then your tutorial will run one time. Repeat the process to view the tutorial again. If you choose Save, browse to the location where you'd like to save the tutorial file (like your Desktop), click Save again, and wait for the download to complete. Now you can click on the file to run the tutorial as often as you like, even when you're not logged into Recovery Planning. If you have any questions or problems with the tutorials, please contact the ECOS Help Desk.

  • Implementation Schedules
  • Adding a Party
  • ROAR Demo Slides (PowerPoint) - Last Updated: 7/23/2010
    • Overview
    • Editing Existing Plans
    • Adding a New Plan
    • How to Use Reports

Secure Recovery Report Definitions

Below are definitions on how the following reports are generated.

Recovery Actions By Species

This report bases it's counts on the following criteria:

  • Initiated actions
    • Just for the FY the initiated date is in - not cumulative
    • Species must be active on the action to be counted in the species counts
    • Species must be active on the plan to be counted in the species counts
  • Completed actions = cumulative across all FYs
  • Ongoing actions
    • Cumulative unless it moves to the completed status
    • Action status must be one of Ongoing Current, Ongoing Not Current, Partially Complete


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