Alabama Ecological Services Field Office
Southeast Region


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Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP)

Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs) under section 10(a)(1)(B) of the Endangered Species Act provide for partnerships with non-Federal parties to conserve the ecosystems upon which listed species depend, ultimately contributing to their recovery.

HCPs are planning documents required as part of an application for an incidental take permit. They describe the anticipated effects of the proposed taking; how those impacts will be minimized, or mitigated; and how the HCP is to be funded. HCPs can apply to both listed and nonlisted species, including those that are candidates or have been proposed for listing. Conserving species before they are in danger of extinction or are likely to become so can also provide early benefits and prevent the need for listing.

Incidental Take Permits

Private landowners, corporations, state or local governments, or other non-Federal landowners who wish to conduct activities on their land that might incidentally harm (or "take") a species listed as endangered or threatened must first obtain an incidental take permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Habitat Conservation Plans

To obtain an Incidental Take Permit, the applicant must develop a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP), designed to offset any harmful effects the proposed activity might have on the species. The HCP process allows development to proceed while promoting listed species conservation.

What Next?

Landowners can contact the Alabama Ecological Services Field Office at 251-441-5181 to determine whether a contemplated activity is likely to require an incidental take permit and to begin the application process.

Downloadable Documents and Forms


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Last updated: May 5, 2021