If the Service finds that either impact is likely to occur, it may propose modifications to the action to avoid violating the Act.
While the action agency can disagree and reject the Service’s conclusion or recommendations, it does so at its own peril, as courts tend to defer to the wildlife expertise of the Fish and Wildlife Service.
But worldwide, plants and animals are disappearing at an alarming rate, and the natural systems that all species, including humans, depend on are at serious risk.
In the United States alone, scientists estimate that more than 500 species have disappeared in the past 200 years.
An HCP negotiated with a developer, land owner, or state or local government describes the anticipated effects of proposed activities on certain listed species, includes a list of conservation measures to minimize and mitigate the impact of incidental takings as much as is practical, and lists the funding available to implement the plan.
When the HCP is approved, FWS issues an incidental take permit which absolves the applicant from liability under the Endangered Species Act for harm to the species.From protecting black-footed ferrets to sea turtles, the Endangered Species Act has been critical in the battle to save our most imperiled species.The Endangered Species Act provides common-sense, balanced solutions for government agencies, landowners, and concerned citizens to conserve endangered wildlife and their habitats.Some of these legislative attacks could prevent citizens from taking action to hold the government accountable for failing to adequately protect our most imperiled species.Others would carve out exemptions for particular species or geographic areas as giveaways to special interests, including some of the wealthiest oil companies, big agribusiness, and land developers.“Harm” for a listed species is further defined by regulations to include significant habitat modification.While the Endangered Species Act can shield listed species from significant harm, it does not directly mandate or compel private citizens to take positive conservation actions on behalf of these species.Recent polling shows 84 percent of Americans support the Endangered Species Act, and 87 percent agree that it is a successful safety net for protecting wildlife, plants, insects, and fish from extinction.In 1973, Congress showed global leadership by creating the Endangered Species Act.The Act has been successful – no law has been more important in preventing the extinction of wildlife, including bald eagles, gray whales and the peregrine falcon.And many species protected under the law are on the pathway to recovery.