The 1973 Endangered Species Act is the nation's chief federal wildlife protection statute. It provides for conservation and protection of species determined to be endangered or threatened under the act. The law also directs federal agencies to ensure that their actions, such as building dams or granting construction permits to private companies, do not jeopardize endangered or threatened species, or harm their critical habitat. The act also implements the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), an international treaty to regulate trade in endangered wildlife.
An endangered species is a plant or animal determined by the US F&WS to be in eminent danger of extinction. Species designated, or 'listed,' as endangered are accorded special federal protection under the 1973 Act. Similar protections are provided for species listed under the act as 'threatened,' those found to be in danger of extinction in the foreseeable future.
Defenders of Wildlife
National Audubon Society Endangered Species Campaign (to enforce the ESA and to protect endangered species)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Endangered Species Program
National Wildlife Federation - endangered species
USGS Terrestrial and Endangered Species Program
American Bar Association - 2010 handbook, "Endangered Species Act: Law, Policy, and Perspectives"
See chapter with discussion and comparison of all states' endangered species acts.
"State Endangered Species Acts: Past, Present and Future," Center for Wildlife Law and Defenders of Wildlife 1999.
"Assault on Wildlife: the Endangered Species Act under Attack," Defenders of Wildlife September 2011 report
Environmental Law Institute - Biodiversity Conservation Program (reports and analyses of issues such as using state wildlife action plans to save biodiversity)