Complying with the Endangered Species Act

The purpose of the Endangered Species Act is to conserve threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems. A species is considered endangered if it is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. The listing of a species as endangered makes it illegal to "take" (harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, collect, or attempt to do these things) that species. Similar prohibitions usually extend to threatened species.

Federal agencies may be allowed limited take of species through interagency consultations with NOAA Fisheries. Non-federal individuals, agencies, or organizations may have limited take through special permits with conservation plans. Effects to the listed species must be minimized and in some cases conservation efforts are required to offset the take.

See our listed species. For non-marine species, contact the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

In order to comply with Endangered Species Act, begin with the following questions. Does your activity involve:

Learn more about the Endangered Species Act...