Riparian brush rabbit
Photo: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Endangered Species Overview
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973 provides a critical safety net for America's at-risk native fish, wildlife and plants. Our office was established to implement that safety net in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta of California.
The purpose of the ESA is to conserve "the ecosystems upon which endangered and threatened species depend" and to conserve and recover listed species. Under the law, species may be listed as either "endangered" or "threatened". All species of plants and animals, except pest insects, are eligible for listing.
- Endangered means a species is in danger of extinction throughout all or a
significant portion of its range.
- Threatened means a species is likely to become endangered within the
Valley elderberry longhorn beetle
Photo: Brian Hansen,USFWS
Recovery is the ultimate goal of the ESA.
Together with stakeholders we implement
research, species protection and habitat
restoration to keep at-risk species off the ESA
list when possible and create a road map for
recovery for those currently on the
list. For example, the Service believes that the valley elderberry longhorn beetle (see photo) has recovered. We have recommended delisting it.