The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was enacted in 1973 to protect critically imperiled species from extinction as an outcome of economic growth and development.
A species of plant or animal is considered endangered if it is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. A species is considered threatened if it is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future. Species can be listed as endangered in two ways: the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (also called the National Marine Fisheries Service or NMFS) can directly list a species through its candidate assessment program, or an individual or organizational petition may request that the FWS or NMFS list a species.Show complete background