Plants and animals that have become so scarce that they are on the verge of extinction are considered endangered species. Plants and animals that are threatened are those that are likely to become endangered shortly across their whole range or a large portion of it. A species is declared endangered under the Endangered Species Act if it is at risk of extinction throughout all or a considerable portion of its range. If a species is likely to become endangered shortly, it is termed threatened. The Endangered Species Act, which is the principal way the federal government protects species in danger of extinction, is shared by National Marine Fisheries Service and the United State Fish and Wildlife Service. The act's goal is to protect endangered and threatened species as well as their environments.