- Section 7 Consultation
- Midwest Endangered Species Home
- Section 7 Home
- Section 7: A Brief Explanation
- Section 7: Technical Assistance
- Biological Assessment Guidance
- Section 7 Consultation Handbook
- Contact Us
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.
Find a location near you »
S7 Consultation Technical Assistance
Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) requires all Federal agencies to use their authorities to conserve endangered and threatened species in consultation with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). This ‘proactive conservation mandate’ for Federal agencies is articulated in section 7(a)(1) of the law. Section 7(a)(2) contains a complementary consultation mandate for Federal agencies, which we discuss below.
Section 7(a)(2) Mandate
Section 7(a)(2) directs all Federal agencies to insure that the actions they authorize, fund, or carry out do not jeopardize the continued existence of endangered or threatened species or destroy or adversely modify critical habitat. The Section 7 implementing regulations (50 CFR Part 402) specify how Federal agencies are to fulfill their section 7(a)(2) consultation requirements.
Section 7(a)(2) Responsibilities
Under the Section 7 implementing regulations (50 CFR Part 402), Federal agencies must review their actions to determine whether they may affect endangered or threatened species or critical habitat. To accomplish this, Federal agencies must determine whether any listed species may be present in the action area and whether that area overlaps with critical habitat. We explain how to do that in Step 2 of this guidance.
If one or more listed species may be present in the action area – or if critical habitat overlaps with the action area – agencies must evaluate the potential effects of their action (see Step 3 and Step 4 of this guidance). If no species or their critical habitat are present or affected, no consultation is required. Consultation will be either informal, ending with written concurrence from USFWS, or formal. Formal consultation concludes when USFWS delivers its biological opinion to the Federal agency.
Requirements for Proposed Species and Proposed Critical Habitat
Agencies must confer with the USFWS per Section 7(a)(4) of the ESA if any action is likely to jeopardize a species proposed for listing or to destroy or adversely modify proposed critical habitat. To determine whether either of these are likely, agencies may follow the same approach that we recommend for listed species and designated critical habitat – that is, evaluate the likely effects of their actions on any proposed species that may be present in the action area and on any proposed critical habitat that overlaps with the action area.