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Endangered Species Act (ESA)"Nothing is more priceless and more worthy of preservation than the rich array of animal life with which our country has been blessed."
-President Nixon, upon signing the Endangered Species Act
The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) was signed on December 28, 1973, and provides for the conservation of species that are endangered or threatened throughout all or a significant portion of their range, and the conservation of the ecosystems on which they depend. The ESA replaced the Endangered Species Conservation Act of 1969; it has been amended several times.
A "species" is considered:
- endangered if it is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range.
- threatened if it is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future.
There are approximately 2,140 total species listed under the ESA. Of these species, approximately 1,515 are found in part or entirely in the U.S. and its waters; the remainder are foreign species.
NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) share responsibility for implementing the ESA. Generally, USFWS manages land and freshwater species, while NMFS manages marine and "anadromous" species. NMFS has jurisdiction over 94 listed species.
- Listing of Species (Section 4)
- Critical Habitat Designation (Section 4)
- Recovery (Section 4)
- Cooperation with States (Section 6)
- Interagency Consultation (Section 7)
- Biological Opinions (issued under Section 7)
- International Cooperation (Section 8)
- Enforcement of the ESA (Section 9)
- Permits for Endangered Species & Habitat Conservation Plans (Section 10)
- Full Text of the ESA
- ESA Biennial Report to Congress
- ESA Fact Sheet [pdf]
- Special Edition of Fish and Wildlife Service's Endangered Species Bulletin Highlighting Marine and Anadromous Species [pdf]
Updated: December 13, 2013