The protection of plant and animal species by federal, state and local regulatory agencies involves specific and complex laws that govern the protection and management of these species. We stay up-to-date on the latest regulations regarding protected species, their habitats, and the associated permitting requirements.
Federally Threatened and Endangered Species Permitting
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973 regulates activities affecting plants and animals designated as endangered or threatened, and the habitats they depend on for survival. A permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service may authorize activities affecting protected species and their habitats. The wood stork, red-cockaded woodpecker, West Indian manatee, Florida bonneted bat, and Florida panther are a few of the threatened and endangered species occurring in the Southeast U.S.
State Protected Species Permitting
State wildlife and natural resource agencies such as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources have regulations protecting species considered to be threatened or endangered on the state level. Often, states have additional requirements for these species separate from the federal permitting requirements. The gopher tortoise is one such species that is protected by the states of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina but is not federally protected. Established protection measures for the gopher tortoise vary by state. Our team of ecologists is knowledgeable about the specific permitting requirements for state-listed species in our region and can guide you through the process.
Local Government Protected Species Ordinances
In addition to federal and state regulations for protected plants and wildlife, local governments may have their own ordinances to protect these species. Please contact us for more information about your specific project. We would love to provide you with more site-specific information based on where your project is located.
Most images provided and copyrighted by Sr. Ecologist and nature photographer William R. Cox. To order prints, please visit www.williamrcoxphotography.com