Endangered Species Act (ESA)

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 provides for the conservation of threatened and endangered plants and animals.  It also calls for protection of the habitats and ecosystems in which these species are found.  The law requires federal agencies, in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and/or the NOAA Fisheries Service, to ensure that the actions they authorize are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any endangered species or cause the destruction of the habitats those species depend on.