Ecological Services
Northeast Region
Workers descending into a cave
HCP Updates
West Virginia energy company requests Endangered Species Act permit from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Comments are being accepted for the draft Criterion Power Partners HCP for the Indiana bat at a Maryland wind project.
The Service issued an incidental take permit in July 2012 to National Grid in New York for the Karner blue butterfly.
Habitat Conservation Plans More Resources Connect with Us

Habitat Conservation Plans provide for partnerships with non-federal parties to conserve the ecosystems upon which protected species depend, ultimately contributing to their recovery.

National HCP Program

HCP Program Factsheet (PDF

ESA Tools for Private Landowners (PDF)

HCP Library

National HCP Database

HCP Grants

National Environmental Policy

Office Locations and Websites

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What we do

Non-federal landowners or entities may need incidental take permits (Section 10a(1)(B) of the ESA) if they are engaged in an activity that:

  • May adversely affect a species protected under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA),
  • Is otherwise lawful, and
  • Is not for the purposes of scientific research or enhancement of a listed species.

The ESA prohibits the "take" of listed species through direct harm or habitat destruction. Through a 1982 amendment, Congress authorized the Service to issue permits for the "incidental take" of endangered and threatened wildlife species. Thus, permit holders can proceed with an activity that is legal in all other respects, but that result in the incidental taking of a listed species.

This permit process requires applicants to design, implement and secure funding for a conservation plan that avoids, minimizes and mitigates harm to the impacted species during the proposed project. That plan is commonly called a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). Habitat Conservation Plans are legally binding agreements between the Secretary of the Interior and the permit holder.

For more information about HCPs in the Northeast Region, please contact Martin Miller, Chief, Division of Endangered Species, at or 413-253-8615.

Last updated: August 9, 2018