2 USFWS Mission Statement Our mission, working with others, to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people
3 The Endangered Species Act Passed in 1973Purpose: To provide a means whereby the ecosystems upon which endangered and threatened species depend may be conserved, and to provide a program for the conservation of such endangered and threatened species.
4 California Condor Passenger Pigeon Instructor Notes: Our country’s environmental consciousness evolved too late for some species, e.g., the passenger pigeon (“flocks so thick they darkened the sky”), which went extinct before we gave much thought to the results of our actions on the species with which we share the planet.The passenger pigeon once constituted approximately 25 to 40% of the total bird population of the United States. Their numbers may have reached 3 billion to 5 billion passenger pigeons at the time Europeans discovered America. An observer described a flight as being about a mile in width and taking several hours to pass overhead. Yet by the early 1900s no wild passenger pigeons could be found. Martha, the LAST passenger pigeon died in captivity in 1914 (1:00 pm, September 1st).By the 1960s it was clear that other species were going the way of the passenger pigeon, and it became a national priority to do something about it. The condor had declined to just a few dozen birds when the species was listed - coming dangerously close to becoming a modern equivalent of the passenger pigeon.Passenger Pigeon
5 Sections of the ESASection 4: Listing, critical habitat, and recovery plansSection 5: Land acquisitionSection 6: Assistance to States and TerritoriesSection 7: Interagency CooperationSection 8: International CooperationSection 9: Prohibited ActsSection 10: ExceptionsSection 11: Penalties and Enforcement
6 Section 4 Sets requirements and standards for listing Defines endangered vs. threatenedProvisions for emergency listingProvides for citizen petitionsMandates development of recovery plansRequires designation of critical habitatDesignation of candidate species
7 What can we list? Species Subspecies Distinct Population Segments of vertebrates
8 What is a DPS? Added in 1978 amendments but no definition provided To be used “sparingly”Only applies to vertebratesMust fulfill three criteria:DiscreteSignificantMeets definition of T or E
9 What is a Candidate Species? Plants and animals for which we have sufficient information on biological status and threats to propose as endangered or threatened under the Act but development of a proposed listing regulation is precluded by higher priority listing activities.
10 PetitionsIndividuals or groups can petition us to list or delist a species or designate/amend CHWe respond via:A 90-day finding determining if the petition contains substantial information that the petitioned act MAY BE warranted;If yes, then we:Conduct a 12-month finding to determine whether the petitioned action IS warrantedOutcomes: 1) list the species; 2) find not warranted; 3) find warranted but precluded by higher priority actions
11 Section 4 Listing Process 5-factor analysisHabitat destruction or modificationOverutilizationDisease or PredationInadequate regulatory mechanismsOther factorsRegulatory process based solely on biology, not economicsRequirements for public comment and peer review
12 Critical HabitatHabitat essential to the conservation of a listed species that may require special managementCan include Federal, State, Tribal or private landsAreas can be excluded if benefits of exclusion outweigh the benefits of inclusionCritical habitat protections apply only to Federal lands or actions
13 Special Rules 4(d) Rules Can tailor the ESA prohibitions for threatenedMust provide for the conservation of the speciesProvides substantial flexibility to only regulate what is needed to recover the species
14 Recovery: goal of ESAThe process by which the decline of an endangered or threatened species is arrested or reversed, and threats to the survival are negated, so that its long-term survival in nature can be assured.
15 Recovery Plans: Blueprints for Recovery Guides recovery actions for a listed speciesAssist in determining when a project would jeopardize the continued existence of a listed speciesAssist local planning agenciesIdentify priority researchInform the publicPartnerships are key: can form recovery teams that include scientists, other agencies, private landowners
16 Section 6: Grants to States and Territories TraditionalFor surveys, monitoring, or recovery actionsFunded at $10.5 million nationwide in FY14Non-traditionalRecovery Land Acquisition (FY14 = $9.5 million)Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance ($7.4 M)HCP Land Acquisition ($18 M)
17 Section 7(a)(1)All Federal agencies shall use their authorities in the furtherance of the purposes of this Act by carrying out programs for the conservation of endangered and threatened species.
18 Section 7(a)(2)Each Federal agency must, in consultation with the Service, ensure that any action funded, authorized, of carried out by the agency is not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered or threatened species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of critical habitat.
19 The Consultation Process Federal agency considers the effects of its action on listed speciesCoordinates with FWS, if an effect is likelyNot likely to adversely affect = informal consultationLikely to adversely affect = formal consultationPurpose of formal consultation: to determine if jeopardy and/or adverse modification are likely
20 Section 9 Prohibits “take” of listed animals Take is defined as to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct.
21 Plant Prohibitions Section 9 prohibitions for plants: remove and reduce to possession from areas under Federal jurisdiction;maliciously damage or destroy on any such landsremove, cut, dig up, or damage or destroy on any other area in knowing violation of any law or regulation of any state or in the course of any violation of a state criminal trespass law.
22 Section 10 ExceptionsA way to authorize activities otherwise prohibited under Section 9 of the Act10(a)(1)(A)For beneficial actions or research10(a)(1)(B) – incidental take permits (HCP)10(j) – experimental populationsCCAAs have been covered as part of candidate conservationSafe Harbor Agreements and 10(j) are covered in more detail under recovery sectionJust remind people here that these all involve permits issued under section 10
23 Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances Formal, voluntary agreements between the FWS and landowners to address the conservation needs of candidate species or species likely to become candidatesParticipants receive assurances that they will not be required to implement additional conservation measures beyond those in the CCAA
24 Safe Harbor Agreements Voluntary agreements involving private or other non-Federal property owners whose actions contribute to the recovery of listed speciesIn exchange for conservation efforts, participants receive formal assurances that we will not require additional management activitiesAt the end of the agreement period, participants may return the enrolled property to the baseline conditions that existed at the beginning of the SHA.
25 What is an HCP?Section 10 of the Act provides exceptions to section 9 prohibitions including the issue of permits to take listed animals incidental to otherwise legal activity.Incidental take permit - permit that exempts a project proponent from the take prohibition of section 9.Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) - planning document that is a mandatory component of an incidental take permit application.
26 10(j) Rules For reintroductions of listed species Can be given “non-essential, experimental”Take prohibitions can be tailored to only what is necessary to conserve
27 Exercising ESA Flexibility: Tools for Private Lands Working lands for wildlife (NRCS), CCAAs, SHAs4(d) Rules: Dakota skipper, lesser prairie chicken10(j): Wyoming BFFCritical habitat exclusions: Dakota skipper, poweshiek skipperling
28 What Makes a Successful Conservation Effort? Addresses all threats on a large enough scope to affect the listing determinationTrack record of successMethods have proven effective (Coral Pink, Least Chub, Arctic Grayling)Additional populations established (chub, grayling)Voluntary efforts show sufficient participation (Sand Dunes Lizard)
29 Conservation efforts influence decisions Can be used to avoid listing (Sand Dunes Lizard)Can be the difference between T vs ECan provide basis for a 4(d) rule for relaxed/streamlined regulation (LPC)