Endangered Species
Midwest Region


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Endangered Species Permits


Permits and authorizations are required under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for activities that may "take" native threatened or endangered species. For general information about these permits and points of contact, see our fact sheet entitled "Permits for Native Species Under the Endangered Species Act" (529 KB Adobe pdf file).


Go here for answers to your questions about permits for foreign species. (2-page PDF)


Permits for Native Endangered Species

There are three types of permits that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issues for native endangered or threatened species:


1. Recovery and Interstate Commerce Permits (Section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA)

For scientific research on a listed species or activities to enhance a listed species propagation or survival a Section 10(a)(1)(A) permit is required. Examples include, but are not limited to: abundance surveys, genetic research, relocations, capture and marking, and telemetric monitoring. A permit may also be required to possess tissues and/or body parts of listed species.


Applying for a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Instructions on how to apply for a permit.


2. Incidental Take Permits (Section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA)

If you are engaged in an otherwise lawful activity where a listed species may be adversely affected, and the purpose of your activity is not scientific research or enhancement of a listed species, you may need to obtain an Incidental Take Permit (section 10(a)(1)(B)).


Examples of activities that may require an Incidental Take Permit include, but are not limited to: construction and/or development activities or in-stream or watershed activities that may impact listed species.


Additional information about Incidental Take Permits and Habitat Conservation Plans


HCPs in the Upper Midwest (Region 3)


Applying for a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Instructions on how to apply for a permit.


3. Enhancement of Survival Permits

This type of permit is different than the two previous types. It was developed as a mechanism to promote endangered species conservation on non-federal lands and is used in conjunction with Safe Harbor Agreements and Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances. The enhancement permit, in conjunction with one of these Agreements, allows landowners to improve habitat for listed species without incurring additional restrictions if the size of the area occupied by the species increases or their number increases.


Additional information about Safe Harbor Agreements


Additional information about Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances


Applying for a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Instructions on how to apply for a permit.


Additional Information about Endangered Species Permits

Choosing the right permit: includes example scenarios to help you decide what type of permit you may need.


Endangered Species Act


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Last updated: April 14, 2015