Endangered Species Act (ESA) (US) | Practical Law

Endangered Species Act (ESA) (US) | Practical Law

Endangered Species Act (ESA) (US)

Endangered Species Act (ESA) (US)

Practical Law Glossary Item w-035-7454 (Approx. 3 pages)

Glossary

Endangered Species Act (ESA) (US)

A federal statute protecting threatened and endangered plants, wildlife, fish, and their habitat (16 U.S.C. §§ 1531 to 1544).
The ESA and accompanying regulations:
  • Require listing of threatened and endangered species (listed species) and areas of critical habitat.
  • Provide for recovery plans for listed species.
  • Prohibit pursuing, capturing, hunting, killing, injuring, harassing, or harming of listed wildlife without federal permission, including harm caused by significant habitat degradation (the take or taking of wildlife).
  • Prohibit removing or destroying listed plant species in areas under federal jurisdiction or in violation of state laws.
  • Require agencies to consult on impacts to listed species before issuing federal permits or authorizations.
  • Prohibit import, export, and trade in listed species.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) administers the ESA for species with land-based habitats, while the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) administers the ESA for marine species.
Listed wildlife and plant species are compiled in the Code of Federal Regulations (see 50 C.F.R. §§ 17.11(h), 17.12(h)).
For more information on the ESA, see Practice Notes: