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/1 Species outside United States and outlying areas as determined by Fish and Wildlife Service.
Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Endangered Species Technical Bulletin, quarterly.
* HISTORY AND EVOLUTION OF THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT OF 1973
Congress passed the Endangered Species Preservation Act in 1966. This law allowed listing of only native animal species as endangered and provided limited means for the protection of species so listed. The Departments of Interior, Agriculture, and Defense were to seek to protect listed species, and insofar as consistent with their primary purposes, preserve the habitats of such species. Land acquisition for protection of endangered species was also authorized. The Endangered Species Conservation Act of 1969 was passed to provide additional protection to species in danger of "worldwide extinction". Import of such species was prohibited, as was their subsequent sale within the U.S. This Act called for an international ministerial meeting to adopt a convention on the conservation of endangered species.
A 1973 conference in Washington led to the signing of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which restricted international commerce in plant and animal species believed to be actually or potentially harmed by trade.
Later that year, the Endangered Species Act of 1973 was passed, which combined and considerably strengthened the provisions of its predecessors, and broke some new ground.
Its principal provisions follow:
o U.S. and foreign species lists were combined, with uniform provisions applied to both [section 4];
o Categories of "endangered" and "threatened" were defined [section 3];
o Plants and all classes of invertebrates were eligible for protection, as they are under CITES [section 3];
o All Federal agencies were required to undertake programs for the conservation of endangered and threatened species, and were prohibited from authorizing, funding, or carrying out any action that would jeopardize a listed species or destroy or modify its "critical habitat" [section 7];
o Broad taking prohibitions were applied to all endangered animal species, which could apply to threatened animals by special regulation [section 9];
o Matching Federal funds became available for States with cooperative agreements [section 6];
o Authority was provided to acquire land for listed animals and for plants listed under CITES [section 5]; and
o U.S. implementation of CITES was provided [section 8].
o Significant amendments have been enacted in 1978, 1982, and 1988, while the overall framework of the 1973 Act has remained essentially unchanged. The funding levels in the present Act were authorized through Fiscal Year 1992. Principal amendments are listed below:
Provisions were added to Section 7, allowing Federal agencies to undertake an action that would jeopardize listed species if the action were exempted by a cabinet-level committee convened for this purpose;
Critical habitat was required to be designated concurrently with the listing of a species, when prudent, and economic and other impacts of designation were required to be considered in deciding on boundaries [section 4];
The Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture (for the Forest Service) were directed to develop a program for conserving fish, wildlife and plants, including listed species, and land acquisition authority was extended to such species [section 5];
The definition of "species" with respect to "populations" was restricted to vertebrates; otherwise, any species, subspecies or variety of plant, or species or subspecies of animal remained listable under the Act [section 3].
Determinations of the status of species were required to be made solely on the basis of biological and trade information, without any consideration of possible economic or other effects [section 4];
A final rule to determine the status of a species was required to follow within one year of its proposal unless withdrawn for cause [section 4];
Provision was made for designation of experimental populations of listed species that could be subject to different treatment under section 4 , for critical habitat, and section 7 [section 10]; and
A prohibition was inserted against removing listed plants from land under Federal jurisdiction and reducing them to possession [section 9].
Monitoring of candidate and recovered species was required, with adoption of emergency listing when there is evidence of significant risk [section 4].
Several amendments dealt with recovery matters: 1) recovery plans will undergo public notice and review, and affected Federal agencies must give consideration to those comments; 2) section 4(g) requires five years of monitoring of species that have recovered; and 3) biennial reports are required on the development and implementation of recovery plans and on the status of all species with plans.
A new section 18 requires a report of all reasonably identifiable expenditures on a species-by-species basis be made on the recovery of endangered or threatened species by the States and the Federal government [see last page].
Protection for endangered plants was extended to include destruction on Federal land and other taking when it violates State law [section 9]. II. ADMINISTRATION OF THE ESA The Fish and Wildlife Service, in the Department of the Interior, and the National Marine Fisheries Service, in the Department of Commerce, share responsibility for administration of the Endangered Species Act. Generally, the National Marine Fisheries deals with those species occurring in marine environments and anadromous fish, while the Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for terrestrial and freshwater species and migratory birds. Additionally, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, in the Department of Agriculture, oversees importation and exportation of listed terrestrial plants. III. LISTING Definitions
A species (see below) may be classified for protection as "endangered" when it is in danger of extinction within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range. A "threatened" classification is provided to those animals and plants likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of their ranges. [section 3]
A "species" includes any species or subspecies of fish, wildlife, or plant; any variety of plant; and any distinct population segment of any vertebrate species that interbreeds when mature. Excluded is any species of the Class Insecta determined by the Secretary to constitute a pest whose protection under the provisions of the Act would present an overwhelming and overriding risk to man. [section 3]
How do species get listed?
As with most other Federal regulations, a species is proposed for addition to the lists (50 CFR Part 17) in the Federal Register. The public is offered an opportunity to comment, and the rule is finalized (or withdrawn). Species are selected by the Service for proposed rules from a list of candidates. To become a candidate, the Service relies largely upon petitions, Service and other agencies' surveys, and other substantiated reports on field studies. The Act provides very specific procedures on how species are to be placed on the list (e.g., listing criteria, public comment periods, hearings, notifications, time limit for final action). These latter requirements are found in the regulations at 50 CFR Part 424. Selection from the list of candidates for a proposed rule is based upon a priority system (September 23, 1983, Federal Register).
Species may be active candidates from a number of sources. The Service has its own biologists who are monitoring the status of some species. Other agencies have similar staffs that can report when a species seems to be at some risk to its continued existence. Informal letters and various reports are also submitted to the Service from the States and private groups and individuals. There is also a formal petition process available under the Act.
Anyone may petition the Service to have a species listed or reclassified as endangered or threatened, or removed from the list. Findings are required before any proposal is published in the Federal Register.
Within 90 days of receiving a petition, the Service must make a finding as to whether the petition presents substantial information that the listing may be warranted.
Within 1 year of receipt, a finding is required that the listing is either warranted or not warranted.
A finding of warranted must lead directly to an immediate (<30 days) proposed listing, or the Service can find that such an immediate proposal is precluded by other listing activities such that the proposal may not be made for several additional weeks, months or even years. In order to make this secondary finding of warranted but precluded the Service must also be making expeditious progress in its overall listing program (e.g., candidates of higher priority are taken first).
Any warranted but precluded finding must be re-examined on each successive anniversary of the petition's receipt until the listing is either proposed or the petition is turned down as not warranted.
Negative 90-day findings, not warranted findings, and warranted but precluded 1-year findings are subject to judicial review.
Selecting candidates for listing
In general, species to be listed in a given year are selected from among those recognized as candidates in accordance with the Service's listing priority system.
Under the priority system, species facing the greatest threat are assigned highest priority, further criteria account for the immediacy of the threat and the genetic distinctness of the species as reflected by the taxonomic level at which it is recognized. The Service maintains a list of "candidates" from all the accepted petitions and other sources.
Candidate species are those for which the Service has substantial information to support the proposal to list.
Criteria for listing
A species is only determined to be an endangered species or a threatened species because of any one or more of the following factors (economics or others not listed here are not permissible under the Act):
o the present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range;
o overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes;
o disease or predation;
o the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or
o other natural or man-made factors affecting its continued existence.
Proposed and Final Rules
The Fish and Wildlife Service must publish a proposed rule in the Federal Register not less than 90 days before the effective date of the listing of a species. The complete text of the proposed regulation is published and all interested parties are encouraged to comment and provide additional information on the proposal (generally a 60 day comment period) and to submit statements at any public hearings that are held. Any person may file a written reguest for such a hearing within 45 days after the date of publication of the general notice.
Within one year of the date a listing proposal is published, one of three possible courses of action must be taken: (1) a final listing rule is published (either as proposed, or revised); (2) the proposal is withdrawn; or (3) the proposal may be extended, but only for an additional 6 months.
If approved, the final listing rule takes effect 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.
These tables are based on figures supplied by the United States Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce and are subject to revision by the Census Bureau.
Copyright © 2006 Photius Coutsoukis and Information Technology Associates, all rights reserved.