Endangered Species Program in North Carolina
The Endangered Species Program is dedicated to working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats, and reverse the alarming trend of human-caused extinctions that threaten the ecosystems we all share.
Why should we be concerned about the loss of species? Extinction is a natural process. Normally, new species develop through a process known as speciation at about the same rate that other species become extinct. However, because of air and water pollution, over-hunting, extensive deforestation, the loss of wetlands, and other human induced impacts, extinctions are now occurring at a rate that far exceed the speciation rate. Each extinction diminishes the diversity and complexity of life on Earth. The loss of a single species may seem insignificant. However, all life on Earth is interconnected. If enough "living connections" are broken, entire ecosystems could fail and the balance of nature could be forever altered. Read "Why Save Endangered Species" to learn more.
The United States Congress recognized that many of our Nation's valuable plant and wildlife resources have been lost and that others are imperiled. The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (pdf 266KB) provides a means to help preserve these species and their habitats for future generations. An “endangered” species is one that is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. A “threatened” species is one that is likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future.
Endangered and Threatened Species - The Service maintains a list of endangered, threatened, and candidate species and federal species of concern native to North Carolina. The list includes information on the species status, range, and habitat.
Endangered Species Consultation - Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act directs all federal agencies to use their existing authorities to conserve endangered and threatened species and, in consultation with the Service, to ensure that their actions do not jeopardize listed species or destroy or adversely modify critical habitat. Section 7 applies to the management of federal lands as well as other federal actions that may affect listed species, such as federal approval of private activities through the issuance of federal funding, permits, licenses, or other actions.