Georgia Water/Laws/Endangered Species Act

U.S. Endangered Species Act (1973)

General Description


Congress enacted the ESA in 1973 to conserve both endangered and threatened species and also to protect the ecosystems upon which those species depend. The ESA requires the Secretary of the Interior to take action to avoid jeopardizing the continued existence of a species. The Secretary also has a duty to conserve threatened and endangered species until they are no longer threatened or endangered. The ESA requires the secretary to give the highest priority to protecting the endangered species.

Listing a Species


The Secretary of the Interior has been given the authority under the ESA to determine whether any species is endangered or threatened.

Limits on Federal Agency Action


ESA prohibits an agency from engaging in any action that is likely to jeopardize the continued existence of endangered or threatened species or that destroys or adversely affects the critical habitat of such species.

Limits on Private Development


The ESA prohibits any individual/entity to "take" an endangered or threatened species. The definition of "take" includes harass, harm, hunt, kill, shoot, capture, collect, etc.