Alabama Ecological Services Field Office
Southeast Region


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Endangered Species Consultation
Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act

Consultation is designed to assist Federal agencies in meeting their responsibilities under the Endangered Species Act.  The objective is to allow a proposed action to proceed while avoiding impacts to listed species by negotiation and project modification to incorporate protective measures.  Best management practices (BMPs) have been developed to serve as guidelines.  For more about BMPs, either for projects in general or for specific types of projects, click here.

If the proposed action will not impact listed species, or if the consulting agency agrees to implement the Service's recommendations, the consultation process is completed at the "informal" stage.  However, if a proposed action will adversely affect a listed species or critical habitat, the consulting agency must initiate "formal" consultation, a process which ends with the issuance of a biological opinion by the Service.  Most consultations are concluded at the informal stage.

Pre-development consultations enable early technical assistance to various entities relying on Federal funds or needing a Federal license or permit.  The purpose of early coordination is to assist the applicant in determining if wetlands or Federally endangered, threatened, or candidate species or critical habitat could be impacted by the proposed activity.  The intent is to provide early notification of potential issues before an applicant has committed significant resources toward specific plans or designs.  The Daphne Field Office typically receives about 2,000 pre-development consultation requests each year.

Please be aware that consultation and coordination is intended for proposed activities.  By regulation, consultation for activities which have already been completed (e.g., requests for reimbursement of expenditures already made) cannot be conducted.  We strongly suggest that you coordinate all activities that might be the subject of future requests for reimbursement prior to land clearing and construction (e.g., FEMA Flood Hazard Mitigation Funds).


Commonly Asked Questions

When do I need to consult with the FWS?
What should I do if consultation is necessary?
Where should I send my consultation package?

For information or questions concerning Section 7 consultations, please contact the Alabama Ecological Services Office at 251-441-5181 .

Answers to Commonly Asked Questions

When do I need to consult with the FWS?

Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act directs all Federal agencies to use their existing authorities to conserve threatened and endangered 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.  If your project requires Federal funds or permits, is known to occur in the habitat of a listed species, or will affect a listed species in any way, consultation with the Service is advised.

What should I do if consultation is necessary?

If consultation with the FWS is deemed appropriate or necessary, a consultation package will need to be developed.  The following information is provided to assist you in developing a complete initiation package.  Please consider this information carefully.  A complete initiation package will expedite our review of your project and conclusion of the consultation process.  Please keep in mind that a more thorough consultation package is needed for applicants initiating formal consultation (e.g., for projects that are likely to adversely affect a listed species or critical habitat) than for applicants beginning informal consultation.

Outline of a Biological Assessment/Biological Evaluation
Contents of a Biological Assessment/Biological Evaluation
Common Flaws in Developing an Effect Determination

Where should I send my consultation package?

All requests should be mailed to:

Bill Pearson, Field Supervisor
Alabama Ecological Services Field Office
1208-B Main Street
Daphne, AL  36526

Please allow 30 days from the date we receive your complete request for us to process it.



Last updated: May 5, 2021