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Public Law (12/28/1973)

(LATEST SUMMARY)

Endangered Species Act - States that the purposes of this Act are to conserve the ecosystems upon which endangered species depend, and to conserve those species.

Sets forth the procedure by which the Secretaries of Interior and Commerce shall determine if a species or subspecies of fish or wildlife shall be regarded as an endangered species. Lists the following factors to be considered in determining if a species or subspecies is threatened with extinction: (1) the present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range; (2) overutilization for commercial, sporting, scientific, or education purposes; (3) disease or predation; (4) the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms; or (5) other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence.

Provides that the Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register a list by scientific and common name or names of species and subspecies determined to be endangered. Provides that the Secretary may, from time to time, by regulation, revise such list.

Provides that the Secretary shall utilize the land acquisition and other authorities of the Migratory Bird Conservation Act, as amended, the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956, as amended, and the Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, as appropriate, to carry out a program in the United States of conserving those species of fish and wildlife that he lists as endangered species pursuant to this Act.

Provides that, in carrying out the program authorized by this Act, the Secretary shall cooperate to the maximum extent practicable with the several States. States that such cooperation shall include consultation before the acquisition of any land for the purpose of conserving any endangered species. Authorizes the Secretary to provide financial assistance to States for cooperative programs to protect endangered and threatened species, and specifies requirements of such programs. Allows the Federal share of such financial assistance to be two-thirds.

Provides that any State law or regulation which applies to the importation or exportation of, or interstate or foreign commerce in, endangered or threatened species is void to the extent that it is inconsistent with this Act.

Authorizes an appropriation, for such State conservation programs, of $10,000,000 through fiscal year 1977.

Provides for a review of and cooperation with other Federal agency programs within the scope of this Act.

Authorizes the use of counterpart funds in foreign countries, where those countries are agreeable, to provide assistance in the development and management of programs which the Secretary finds to be important to endangered species.

Directs the Secretary to encourage foreign countries to develop adequate programs for the protection of endangered species, to encourage the development of bilateral and multilateral agreements for the protection of endangered species and to encourage foreign persons who take fish or wildlife or or animals for importation to use such practices as will encourage appropriate conservation practices designed to enhance such fish or wildlife and their habitat.

Directs the President to designate appropriate agencies to act as the Management Authority and the Scientific Authority pursuant to the Convention on Nature Preservation and Wildlife Preservation in the Western Hemisphere.

Provides that it is unlawful for any person to: (1) import into or export from the United States, or (2) take within the United States, the territorial sea of the United States, upon the high seas, or (3) ship, carry, or receive by any means; any species or subspecies which is listed as an endangered species.

Allows exceptions from the prohibitions contained in this Act for fish and wildlife held in captivity or in a controlled environment, if purposes for holding are not contrary to this Act.

Makes it unlawful for any person to engage in business as an importer or exporter of fish or wildlife (other than shellfish and fishery products which (1) are not listed pursuant to this Act as endangered species or threatened species, and (2) are imported for purposes of human or animal consumption or taken in waters under the jurisdiction of the United States or on the high seas for recreational purposes) or plants without first having obtained permission from the Secretary.

States that if any person enters into a contract with respect to a species of fish or wildlife or plant before the date of the publication in the Federal Register of notice of consideration of that species as an endangered species and the subsequent listing of that species as an endangered species will cause undue economic hardship to such person under the contract, the Secretary, in order to minimize such hardship, may exempt such person from the application of this Act to the extent the Secretary deems appropriate if such person applies to him for such exemption.

Provides that the provisions of this Act shall not apply with respect to the taking of any endangered species or threatened species, or the importation of any such species taken pursuant to this section, by any Indian, Aleut, or Eskimo who is an Alaskan Native who resides in Alaska.

Sets forth civil and criminal penalties for violations of the provisions of this Act. Authorizes the seizure and forfeiture of fish, wildlife, plants, or equipment possessed in violation of this Act. Allows private suits for injunctive enforcement of this Act.

Authorizes the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, together with any other interested agencies, to review plant species which are or may become endangered or threatened and to prescribe possible regulatory programs.

Specifies appropriations for fiscal years 1974-76 to carry out this Act.