Kentucky Ecological Services Field Station
Southeast Region
Map of the Southeast Region

Endangered Species

Blackside Dace. Credit: Brent Harrel, USFWS

Blackside Dace. Credit: Brent Harrel, USFWS

In 1973, Congress passed the Endangered Species Act, recognizing that: (1) various species of fish, wildlife, and plants in the United States have been rendered extinct as a consequence of economic growth and development untempered by adequate concern and conservation, (2) other species of fish, wildlife and plants have been so depleted in numbers that they are in danger of or threatened with extinction, and (3) these species of fish, wildlife, and plants are of esthetic, ecological, educational, historical, recreational, and scientific value to the United States and its people.  The intended purpose of the Act is to provide a means by which the ecosystems upon which endangered  and threatened species depend may be conserved and to provide a program for the conservation of those species.

Important components of the Endangered Species Act include: (1) listing/recovery [Section 4], (2) cooperation with states [Section 6], (3) consultation [Section 7], (4) enforcement [Section 9], and (5) incidental take permits [Section 10].

Section 4 provides the process by which species are added to or removed from the official list of endangered or threatened species, and by which recovery plans are developed; Section 6 allows the Service to enter into cooperative agreements with states to implement recovery activities.

Section 7 requires all federal agencies to consult with the Service for all actions they authorize, fund, or carry out; Section 9 prohibits take of listed species and provides penalties for violations; and Section 10 allows the Service to issue permits for incidental take of listed species for scientific purposes, or through the development of habitat conservation plans (HCP's) by non-federal entities.

Fanshell Mussel. Credit: USFWS

Fanshell Mussel. Credit: USFWS

The Kentucky Field Office is actively involved in Section 7 consultations and Section 4 listing and recovery activities.  Kentucky currently or historically provided habitat for over 50 species of threatened or endangered plants or animals.

Current List of Kentucky's Threatened, Endangered, and Federal Candidate Speciespdf/KY_TE List_ (.pdf) - updated April, 2020

For a list of species that occur or may occur in a specific location in Kentucky, please visit IPAC [link to:]

Questions concerning endangered species may be addressed to Dr. Michael A. Floyd (

Bald Eagle Technical Assistance Home Page:



Last updated: April 21, 2020
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