The 13 Northeast states and the District of Columbia have collaborated to prioritize Regional Species of Greatest Conservation Need (RSGCN) for shared conservation and management. This regional effort aims to maintain a non-regulatory list of RSGCN to provide focus, resources, and collaboration to conserve these species and their habitats of mutual conservation concern for current and future generations in the Northeast. The list includes 20 vertebrate and invertebrate taxa groups of Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) from State Wildlife Action Plans (SWAPs) in the Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (NEAFWA) planning geography (Maine to Virginia, including the District of Columbia). The list promotes focused action on high-priority Northeast species by the Northeast Fish and Wildlife Diversity Technical Committee (NEFWDTC) in developing SWAPS and conservation planning and implementation by state fish and wildlife agencies and their partners.
The Northeast RSGCN list was updated in 2023. Over the last 40 years, the NEFWDTC has strategically targeted information gaps and regional conservation priorities. Since 2008, the NEFWDTC has supported more than 80 projects that provide conservation plans, best management practices, standardized research, survey and monitoring protocols, and assessments of multiple taxonomic groups of fish and wildlife. Some of the most important regional projects include standardized terrestrial and aquatic habitat classification schemes, a standardized SWAP Lexicon, a Regional Conservation Synthesis, a SWAP Synthesis, and a Conservation Status of Natural Habitats in the Northeast.