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Endangered Species Act 40th Anniversary

 

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Endangered Species Program in the Upper Midwest

Conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and the ecosystems that sustain them

 

The Endangered Species Act: 40 Years at the Forefront of Wildlife Conservation

 

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 is by far the most significant piece of endangered species legislation and is considered one of the world's most important conservation laws. The bald eagle now soars the sky in every state across the nation. The black-footed ferret, once teetered on the brink of extinction, but now has hundreds of ferrets bred in captivity and more than 1000 in the wild. And the Tennesse purple coneflower now blooms its beautiful purple petals in its historic range after 32 years of federal protection.

 

Today the Endangered Species Act protects more than 1400 U.S. species and 600 foreign species. It provides a critical safety net for fish, wildlife and plants and has prevented the extinction of hundreds of imperiled species, helped the recovery of many others, and conserved the habitats upon which they depend. Forty years later, we can look back at the successes we've shared, and look ahead to the work that still needs to be done.

 

Habitat degradation, climate change, invasive species and many other issues threaten our nation's threatened and endangered species. It is under the Endangered Species Act that we protect the animals, plants and habitats that make up the fabric of our nation's natural tapestry. And we can all celebrate that by conserving them, we help ensure the benefits that accrue from them—healthy air, land, and water—on which we depend.

 

 

News


2013 News Archives

2012 News Archives

2011 News Archives

 

 


What We Do

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for administering the Endangered Species Act. To fulfill our responsibilities, we do the following:

 

Candidate Conservation: identify and assess declining species that may need Endangered Species Act protection and take steps to conserve those species.

 

Listing: take steps to list candidate species as endangered or threatened and designate critical habitat. We also remove species from the Threatened and Endangered Species List ("delist") when they no longer need Endangered Species Act protection.

 

Recovery: protect, conserve and restore listed species. Recovery Report to Congress: 2009 to 2010 (PDF 3.1MB)

 

Section 7 Technical Assistance

Section 7 consultation guidance for Federal agencies and their applicants (i.e., project proponents).

Section 7 Consultation: all Federal agencies have a responsiblity to conserve threatened and endangered species and to ensure that their actions do not jeopardize the existence of any listed species. Under the authority of Section 7 of the Act, we consult with Federal agencies to help them fulfill their obligations.

 

Permits: issue permits to "take" listed species, under certain conditions.

 

Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs): work with Incidental Take permit applicants to help them prepare HCPs that minimize and mitigate the effects of their incidental take.

 

Grants: provide grants to States under Section 6 of the Endangered Species Act. These funds may, in turn, be awarded to private landowners and groups for conservation projects.

 


State Field Offices

We have Ecological Services Field Offices in each of the eight upper Midwest States. For project reviews, Section 7 consultation, or information about endangered species that you do not find on this site, please contact the Field Office in your state.

 

 

“Nothing is more priceless and more worthy of
preservation than the rich array of animal life with
which our country has been blessed. It is a many faceted
treasure, of value to scholars, scientists,
and nature lovers alike, and it forms a vital part
of the heritage we all share as Americans.”
PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON—STATEMENT UPON SIGNING THE
ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT, DECEMBER 28, 1973

 

Bloom of the prairie bush clover.  Photo by USFWS: Phil Delphey

 

Last updated: April 15, 2014

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