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Each state develops State Wildlife Action Plans for conserving wildlife and habitats before they become too rare or costly to adequately restore. To achieve this, each plan includes a listing of the Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN). The Texas plan is called the Texas Conservation Action Plan (TCAP). The ultimate goal of the TCAP, and other Action Plans, is to conserve and improve the status of SGCN species and to help prevent the need for listings under the Endangered Species Act.

The TCAP serves as a roadmap for restoration, management, research, and recovery projects addressing the 1,310 SGCNs that call Texas home and the habitats crucial for their survival. Each species and plant community is given a global and state rank (G=Global, S=State) based on their respective rarity, as well as a number (1- Critically imperiled, 2 – Imperiled, 3 – Vulnerable, 4 – Apparently Secure, and 5 – Secure) designating the conservation status of the species. For example, a species, such as the jaguarundi, which is designated an S1G4 species, is critically imperiled at the state level despite being apparently secure on a global scale. 

The TCAP is available both as a statewide handbook and also as 11 individual handbooks focusing on each of Texas’ ecoregions. 

In addition to providing information on SGCNs, the handbooks contain information on key habitats for each region, local conservation goals and projects, contact information for local conservation partners, and relevant maps. This information is meant to serve as a starting point for landowners, planners, natural resource professionals, and the public in conservation at the regional and local levels.

Action plans are revised every 10 years, the TCAP was last revised in 2015.