Terms of endangerment

  • Mexican long-nosed bat

    USGS
  • Northern spotted owl

    USFWS
  • Gray wolf

    USFWS
  • Chiracahua leopard frog

    Arizona Game and Fish
 

Note: This article is a sidebar to this issue's feature story, "Bred for success."

Species in the Wild

Endangered — An animal or plant species in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. Endangered species such as the Mexican long-nosed bat and the masked bobwhite receive strict protection from harassment, capture or killing. (Violators face fines up to $50,000 and/or one year’s imprisonment.) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (or NOAA Fisheries) is required to designate "critical habitat" for the species, and other federal agencies must consult with them before approving projects, such as logging or gas drilling, that could adversely affect the species. Private landowners and land-users cannot alter a listed animal’s habitat in any way that would harm it. Listed plants are generally protected only on federal land.

Threatened — An animal or plant species likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range. Threatened species generally receive the same strict protections as endangered species, but the penalties for violations are substantially less (fines up to $25,000 and/or six months’ imprisonment). The northern spotted owl is threatened throughout its range in the Pacific Northwest, while the marbled murrelet, another bird that nests in old-growth forests, is threatened in California, Oregon and Washington, but not in Alaska.

 

Reintroduced Species

Experimental Essential — An experimental population whose loss would appreciably reduce the species’ chances for survival in the wild. Species are released back into their home range and given the same protection as threatened species, but the government has flexibility to allow some killing, or "take." The experimental essential rule has never been used.

Experimental Nonessential — The most lenient of all endangered species classifications, experimental nonessential allows the government to release listed species without most of the usual protections. It is still against the law to kill most experimental nonessential animals, but land managers are not required to consult with the Fish and Wildlife Service on actions that might harm the population, and there is no requirement to protect critical habitat. In recent years, this rule has been popular with the Fish and Wildlife Service, but it is controversial. The 1995 experimental nonessential reintroduction of gray wolves in the Northern Rockies, which allowed ranchers to shoot animals caught preying on livestock, launched a legal battle that is still rattling around the courts.

Safe Harbor — The safe harbor rule, introduced in 1995 by Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, is designed to ease the pain for private landowners. It encourages ranchers, timber companies and others to manage their land to benefit rare species, but exempts them from new regulations and allows them to continue with practices, such as logging and homebuilding, that might lead to inadvertent killing of the species. As soon as the species crosses onto public land, however, it receives full protection as threatened or endangered. More than three dozen safe harbor agreements are in place, including ones for aplomado falcons in Texas, the Chiracahua leopard frog in Arizona, and the red-cockaded woodpecker in the Southeast.

 

High Country News Classifieds
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Wild Rockies Field Institute is seeking a visionary Executive Director to lead the organization in Missoula, Montana. Individuals with a proven track record in...
  • LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION DIRECTOR
    The Land and Water Conservation Director is a full-time salaried position with the Mountain Area Land Trust in Evergreen, CO. The successful candidate will have...
  • ARIZONA PROGRAM MANAGER
    National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), the nation's oldest and largest national parks nonprofit advocacy organization seeks an Arizona Program Manager. The Arizona Program Manager works...
  • CROWN OF THE CONTINENT COMMUNITY CONSERVATION SPECIALIST
    THE WILDERNESS SOCIETY is seeking a Community Conservation Specialist, for the Crown of the Continent DEPARTMENT: Conservation CLASSIFICATION: Grade 6 Specialist/Representative (Low of $54K) REPORTS...
  • ASSISTANT FARM DIRECTOR
    About The Organization Building community through fresh vegetables is at the heart of the Sisters-based non-profit, Seed to Table Oregon. Based on a four-acre diversified...
  • CARPENTER WANTED
    CARPENTER WANTED. Come to Ketchikan and check out the Rainforest on the coast, Hike the shorelines, hug the big trees, watch deer in the muskeg...
  • DYNAMIC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    VARD is seeking an Executive Director to lead a small legal & planning staff dedicated to the health and sustainability of Teton Valley Idaho and...
  • WATER PROJECT MANAGER, UPPER SAN PEDRO (ARIZONA)
    Based in Tucson or Sierra Vista, AZ., the Upper San Pedro Project Manager develops, manages, and advances freshwater conservation programs, plans, and methods focusing on...
  • CAMPAIGNS DIRECTOR
    Southeast Alaska Conservation is hiring. Visit https://www.seacc.org/about/hiring for info. 907-586-6942 [email protected]
  • FINANCE & GRANTS MANAGER
    The Blackfoot Challenge, located in Ovando, MT, seeks a self-motivated, detail-oriented individual to conduct bookkeeping, financial analysis and reporting, and grant oversight and management. Competitive...
  • WADE LAKE CABINS, CAMERON MT
    A once in a lifetime opportunity to live and run a business on the shore of one of the most beautiful lakes in SW Montana....
  • CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, BOOKS, CULTURE AND COMMENTARY (PART-TIME, CONTRACT)
    High Country News is seeking a Contributing Editor for Books, Culture and Commentary to assign and edit inquisitive, inspiring, and thought-provoking content for HCN in...
  • STATEWIDE COMMUNITY ORGANIZER
    ABOUT US Better Wyoming is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization that educates, organizes, and mobilizes Wyoming residents on behalf of statewide change. Learn more at...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    TwispWorks is a 501(c)3 that promotes economic and cultural vitality in the mountainous Methow Valley, the eastern gateway to North Cascades National Park in Washington...
  • CLEAN ENERGY ADVOCATE OR DIRECTOR
    Location: Helena, Montana Type: Permanent, full time after 1-year probationary period. Reports to: Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs. Travel: Some overnight travel, both in-state...
  • PROFESSIONAL GIS SERVICES
    Custom Geospatial Solutions is available for all of your GIS needs. Affordable, flexible and accurate data visualization and analysis for any sized project.
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    Restore Hetch Hetchy, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, seeks experienced development professional to identify and engage individuals and institutions who are inspired to help underwrite...
  • PUBLIC LANDS COUNSEL
    The successful candidate will be the organization's lead counsel on public lands issues, including reviewing federal administrative actions and proposed policy and helping to shape...
  • GUIDE TO WESTERN NATIONAL MONUMENTS
    NEW BOOK showcases 70 national monuments across the western United States. Use "Guide10" for 10% off at cmcpress.org
  • RARE CHIRICAHUA RIPARIAN LAND FOR SALE
    40 acres: 110 miles from Tucson: native trees, grasses: birder's heaven::dark sky/ borders state lease & National forest/5100 ft/13-16 per annum rain