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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. Congress has amended the ESA several times.
Approximately 2,245 species are listed as endangered or threatened under the ESA. Of these species, about 650 are foreign species, found only in areas outside of the U.S. and our waters.
We have jurisdiction over 139 endangered and threatened marine species, including 49 foreign species. We work with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to manage ESA-listed species. Generally, we manage marine species, while USFWS manages land and freshwater species.
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
- Listing of Species (Section 4)
- Critical Habitat Designation (Section 4)
- Recovery (Section 4)
- Cooperation with States (Section 6)
- Interagency Consultation (Section 7)
- International Cooperation (Section 8)
- Enforcement of the ESA (Section 9)
- Permits for Endangered Species & Habitat Conservation Plans (Section 10)
Updated: February 11, 2016