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Endangered Species Program
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Endangered Species program is conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service in the Midwest
The Midwest Region includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin.
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Endangered Species Permits
Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs) and Incidental Take Permits
The Endangered Species Act prohibits the "take" of listed species through direct harm or habitat destruction. In the 1982 ESA amendments, Congress authorized the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service (through the Secretary of the Interior) to issue permits for the "incidental take" of endangered and threatened wildlife species (See Section 10a(1)(B) of the ESA). Thus, permit holders can proceed with an activity that is legal in all other respects, but that results in the "incidental" taking of a listed species.
The 1982 amendment requires that permit applicants design, implement, and secure funding for a conservation plan that minimizes and mitigates harm to the impacted species during the proposed project. That plan is commonly called a Habitat Conservation Plan. Habitat Conservation Plans are legally binding agreements between the Secretary of the Interior and the permit holder.
General Information about Incidental Take Permits and Habitat Conservation Plans
Instructions on how to Develop a Habitat Conservation Plan
Tools for Preparing Habitat Conservation Plans (includes forms and templates)