Virginia Field Office
Northeast Region
Endangered Species: Project Reviews in Virginia Project Review Steps

STEP 3c:  CRITICAL HABITAT

Critical habitat is a term defined and used in the ESA. It is specific geographic areas that contain features essential to the conservation of an endangered or threatened species and that may require special management and protection. Critical habitat may also include areas that are not currently occupied by the species but will be needed for its recovery. Specific areas are designated as critical habitat for a listed species through Federal rule-making processes. Not all listed species have designated critical habitat.

Note: If an area is not designated critical habitat for a species, it is still possible for a species to be present if suitable habitat is available (see Step 4).    

To address critical habitat for your project, add another row for critical habitat to your ESA Section 7 Determination Table and use the following steps to determine if critical habitat is within your action area:

A. Using the Virginia Field Office Critical Habitat Map Tool, determine if the project action area intersects federally designated critical habitat.

B. If the action area intersects critical habitat, complete the first 3 columns of your ESA Section 7 Determination Table as shown. Continue to Step 4.


Species/Resource Name

Species/Habitat Presence in Action Area

Sources of Info

ESA Section 7 Determination

Project Elements that Support Determination

Critical habitat for [insert species]

Critical habitat present

VAFO CH Map Tool

 

 

C. If the action area does not intersect critical habitat, complete the ESA Section 7 Determination Table as shown below.


Species/Resource Name

Species/Habitat Presence in Action Area

Sources of Info

ESA Section 7 Determination

Project Elements that Support Determination

Critical habitat not present

 

VAFO CH Map Tool

 

 

D. If the action area does not intersect critical habitat and the Official Species List does not list any species proceed to Step 6 to print a Self-Certification Letter for your records. This project does not need to be submitted to this office.

Otherwise continue to Step 4.

 

 

Online Project Review Introduction
Step 1: Description of Action
Step 2: Action Area
Step 3a: Official Species List
Step 3b: Northern Long-Eared Bat
Step 3c: Critical Habitat
Step 4: Suitable Habitat
Step 5: Determinations
Step 6: Project Review Package


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Last updated: May 17, 2021