Endangered Species Act

Gave US government jurisdiction over threatened and endangered species.

Directs that no activity by a government agency should lead to the extinction of an endangered species.

Early versions in 1966, 1969, current passed in 1973, amended 1982, 1985, 1988

Originally just wildlife, now includes some invertebrates, plants and foreign species (no importation of species or their products)


Endangered Species Act

Petitions for being “listed” are submitted to:

US Fish and Wildlife Service for most species

NOAA Fisheries (formerly called National Marine Fisheries Service) for all marine species (including salmon)



Endangered Species Act

Species may be listed as:

Endangered: a species which is faced with extinction in all or much of its range

Threatened: a species which is likely to become endangered

Concern: a species whose conservation standing is of concern to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but for which status information is still needed.

Candidate: the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has sufficient information on file to consider for listing as threatened or endangered.

Endangered Species Act

Prevents “taking” of listed species

Harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect

Protects “critical habitat”

Area occupied by the species at the time of listing and essential to its conservation

Potential for major economic impact

Impacts private as well as public lands