Passenger Pigeon Once the most numerous bird on the plant (~5 billion)-1800s Flocks 1 mile wide by 300 miles long Extinction: 1914 1914
Great Auk Flightless Bird: Hunted for its down Extinction: 1844
Carolina Parakeet Hunted: Fruit Destruction Last wild specimen was killed in Okeechobee County in Florida in 1904 1920
1875 Labrador Duck Extinction: 1875
Heath Hen Extinction: 1932 1931
Dodo Bird (Mauritius Island) Discovered by Portuguese in 1507- Extinct by 1681
Hunted by the Maoris in New Zealand (probably never seen by any Europeans)- Moa
Other North American Bird Extinctions Dusky Seaside Sparrow Bachman’s Warbler
Endangered Species Act • 1966 Whooping Crane inspired Congress to pass Endangered Species Preservation Act to protect critical habitats • 1969 Whale conservation led to Endangered Species Conservation Act to prohibit import of listed species • 1973 Pres. Nixon backed a new Endangered Species Act to expand categories of endangered and threatened species, included partial regions, made it illegal to “take” listed species.
Legal Actions with ESA • 1978 Supreme Court ruled that Tellico Dam in Tennessee must be halted to protect the Snail Darter. • 1978 Congress responded by establishing the “god squad” to exempt certain species from protection. • 1979 “god squad” ruled that Snail Darter was exempt and Tellico Dam to be constructed • 1980 more Snail Darters found and species was not in significant danger.
Legal Action ESA continued • 1990 Fish & Wildlife Service listed Spotted Owl • ESA blamed for decline in timber industry • 1994 Clinton Administration updated ESA due to concern that landowners had an incentive to harm wildlife critical habitats. • 2005 Critical habitats were designated at time of endangered species listing.
Threatened or Endangered Species • There are 100s of species listed in the US • 329 in Hawaii • 308 in California • 117 in Alabama • 112 in Florida • 94 in Texas
Examples of Endangered Species • Florida Panther (Everglades region)
Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Extinct???
Endangered Species Red-cockaded Woodpecker (old growth timber of Florida) Peregrine Falcon
Off the Endangered List • Snail Darter • Aleutian Canada Goose • Louisiana Pearlshell Cactus • American Alligator
Invasion of the Unwanted • Zebra Mussels • Marine Borers • Fire Ants • Eurasion Collared Doves • Starlings • English Sparrows • Boa Constrictors
Definitions • Critical Habitat - Area occupied by a species or considered essential for species behavior. • Harass – Action that may cause injury or disrupt patterns of a species • Harm – Actions that kill or injure species. Includes habitat modification • Take – Is harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, destroy habitat, or collect endangered species. • Incidental take – is a permitted “take” of a species within specified requirements.
Construction and ESA • Oversight by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Services • Develop list of endangered species • Monitor critical habitats for species • Applies to the following scenarios • Construction under EPA’s Construction General Permit • Activities funded or permitted by Federal agencies • Construction that impacts a listed species or critical habitat
ESA Permit • Required when “incidental take” of threatened or endangered species. • Burden is on owner and/or builder to determine the potential impact. • FWS and NMFS assist in process • Permit application must contain Habitat Conservation Plan • Assessment of impacts • Actions to minimize impacts • Alternatives considered • Additional measures required by FWS
Step 1. Procedures for Determining Impact on Species • Determine if listed species are present on or near the project area. • http://www.fws.gov/endangered/wildlife.html • Contact FWS, NMFS, or State, or Tribal Heritage Center • If there are listed species or critical habitats, the responsible party will : • Conduct visual inspections to identify any listed species or critical habitat. • Conduct a formal biological survey. • Conduct an environmental assessment under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). • If listed species or critical habitats are present in the project area, the responsible party must look at the impacts to the species and/or habitat when following Steps 2 through 4.
Step 2: Determine if Construction Activities Are Likely to Affect Listed Species or Critical Habitat • Potential adverse effects from stormwater discharges and stormwater discharge-related activities include: • Hydrological. Stormwater discharges may cause siltation or sedimentation, or induce other changes in receiving waters such as temperature, salinity or pH. • Habitat. Excavation, site development, grading, and other surface-disturbing construction activities may adversely affect listed species or their habitat. • Toxicity. In some cases, pollutants in stormwater may have toxic effects on listed species. • Assistance in determining these criteria is available from the Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, or Natural Heritage Center. • If adverse effects are not likely, apply for coverage under the Construction General Permit. • If the discharge may adversely affect listed species or critical habitat, then step 3 must be followed.
Step 3: Determine if Measures Can Be Implemented to Avoid Adverse Effects • These measures may involve relatively simple changes to construction activities such as: • rerouting a stormwater discharge to bypass an area where species are located, • relocating Best Management Practices, or • changing the “footprint” of the construction activity. • Contact the Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service on measures reduce the likelihood of adverse impacts to listed species and/or critical habitat. • Measures must be enacted for the duration of the construction project. • These measures must be described in the Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). • If appropriate measures to avoid the likelihood of adverse effects are not available, follow Step 4.
Step 4: Determine if the Requirements of the Construction General Permit Can Be Met • Where adverse effects are likely, the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and/or National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) must be contacted. • 1. An ENDANGEREND SPECIES ACT (ESA) Consultation Is Performed for the Activity. • 2. An Incidental Taking Permit is Issued for the Activity. • 3. The Responsible Parties are Covered Under the Eligibility Certification of Another Operator for the Project Area. • If any federal funds support a construction project, or if a federal permit is required for a construction project, the federal agency taking the action (e.g., funding or permitting) must fulfill the requirements of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Obtain an Incidental Take Permit • If the construction activity will adversely affect listed species or critical habitat, an Incidental Take Permit must be obtained. • The operator should coordinate with the Fish and Wildlife Service or NOAA-Fisheries as soon as possible for guidance in assembling a complete application package. • Before the application is filed, a biological survey may be needed to determine which species and/or habitat would be impacted by the activities covered under the permit.
The Penalties • The US Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service may impose administrative, civil, and criminal sanctions for failure to comply with the Endangered Species Act. • Civil penalties can reach $27,500 per day per violation. • Criminal violations of the Act –as much as $50,000 per day, 3 years' imprisonment, or both. • A fine of as much as $250,000, 15 years in prison, or both, is authorized for knowingly placing a species in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury. • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may impose administrative, civil, and criminal sanctions on a property owner and/or a contractor for failure to comply with the CWA. • Administrative penalties can reach $157,500 and civil penalties can reach $32,500 per violation per day. • In addition, the CWA allows private citizens to bring civil actions against any person for any alleged violation of "an effluent standard or limitation."
Conclusion: • All fifty states have fish and game/wildlife agencies that work in cooperation with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service district offices with regard to the incidental take permitting process. • The National Endangered Species Tool (NEST) can be used to find out more about the rules in a particular state. • Even if it were not for the law, the moral obligation of us all is to preserve our wildlife. • If there is a known rare species of bird, animal, or fish in the vicinity of the construction project, become knowledgeable about that species. Help preserve the species.
It is illegal to “take” an endangered species (take is broadly defined: kill, harm, harass, intimidate, significant habitat modification, etc.)
Endangered Species Found on a Site that is already under construction • Regardless of the % completion, such projects are subject to cancellation
In Sweden, it was discovered that a particular grout that was used in construction contaminated streams, killing fish and paralyzing cows.
Turbines in hydro power plants have been designed to let fish pass through them unharmed
Dams in the Northwest are being dismantled to restore the salmon populations. (dams block fish migrations)
Jumbo jets on approach to the Salt Lake City airport were jeopardizing the birdlife in the natural wetland areas. • The response to the problem: Creation of a 1500 acre wetland a few miles to the north of the airport.
Gobies are small (2-inch) endangered fish, found in California. • In their habitat, bridges being built had construction suspended during the breeding season (February 15 to March 15)
A $200,000,000 project was cancelled in Tucson because the project threatened the endangered red squirrel.
A $4 million dredging project in the Tampa area was suspended for 3 months because of group of endangered least terns began nesting in the area.
Tunnels Under Highways to Protect Wildlife • Florida panthers in the Everglades • Houston toads • Alligators
A Georgia bridge project was delayed for more than 3 months when it was discovered that swallows were nesting under the bridge that was slated for destruction.